The day that I became a civilian can be compared to the birth of a baby born into the wild. Once their mother pushes them out, they have minutes to get rid of their “sea-legs” and walk on their own, if not, awaiting are vicious animals ready to eat the newly born, alive.
Some make it, some don’t.
You see, for most veterans, this isn’t an easy task. How do you learn to live in this big world that you had previously been shield from?
Within the military in which we serve, we have our own rules, regulations and laws. We have manuals that describes to us in detail the way in which we dress, style our hair, and weight restrictions in which we must adhere. We have our moves and missions for the next 6-months planned out for us. In some instances, for the next 2-years we know what we are to do. In addition, we are referred to by our last names which comes after the preparatory rank or grade.
In the event we commit a crime, the military sends THERE people to come gather you up and place you in the jurisdiction of the government. If you are then trial-ed you will appear in a court on any one of hundreds of government installations filled with a jury of fellow service members, that you know even if you don’t actually know them. The court proceedings are then led by a judge who also wears one of 4-military uniforms under his or her robe.
On the contrary, you ARE in violation of many articles, and can be charged with the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) if you ever publicly speak ill-will of The President, regardless how strongly you disagree with him, from a legal voters perspective. After all, he’s your Commander-in-Chief which makes him the boss of all your bosses.
But when you exit the military, you are no longer demanded to adhere by the rules. You are free to express your feelings about The President. Hell you can even march in a protest to impeach him if your heart desires. In fact, you can lead the march if you so choose.
If you are arrested for any reason you will be held in a local jail cell and if you are tried in court you have no idea who the people are in the jury. In fact, you think to yourself that the looks on their faces gives you the impression that they’ve already found you to be guilty even before the trial starts!
Life looks so different from the other side.
The problems here:
Now we have to learn to do things on our own. Think for ourselves and plan for our own next moves in life. Aside from The Constitution, the Ten Commandments and the basic laws of the land, there aren’t any rules or regulations.
You can wear you hair however you like; eat as much as you want because there aren’t any weight restrictions; and you can wear whatever clothes that feels good or you think LOOKS good on you. NO-ONE CARES!
I know plenty of veterans that have a tough time living without rules and regulations. They miss the rules; the safety net; the protection of knowing that someone always have their back. Not to mention the brotherhood or sisterhood that develops because you spend more time with your fellow brothers/sisters-in-arms then your actual family.
How do these prior service-members learn to “live structured in an unstructured world?”
How do they learn to function as a normal person and walk through life, normal?
How do they learn to take “One More Step”?
How do they learn to take that step to not be eaten by the vicious animals that are waiting for them to get rid themselves of their “sea-legs”?
After all, there are many “vicious animals” they are waiting, patiently, to eat each of us…ALIVE.
#soldiers #veterans #thoughts #struggles #ptsd #suicide #onemorestep #relevance #structure #servicemembers #lifecoach.