Posted on Nov 25, 2018
SGT Jennifer Rixe
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Would it be useful for service members who are transitioning to the civilian world to have access to a service that links with the VBA and VHA to address reverse cultural shock and the interpersonal challenges that veterans face (i.e., loss of identity, grief, loss of purpose, etc.) post transition?

Tell me what you think!?
Edited 10 mo ago
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Responses: 6
SSgt Jim Gilmore
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The plain fact of the matter is this "STUFF" needs to be mandated...to a point. Yea, I know the drill, I'm sick of standing in line and taking orders, yada yada yada. When I was in there was no such thing as transition assistance. It was sign here that you acknowledge we told you this but weren't told jack schitt. We had our discharge physicals pencil whipped and as far as VA benefits or health benefits, BUPKUS! We had to find out about that on our own. No two people handle separation the same way. The more information that can be made available the better for all in the long run.

As to MSgt Heather D comment on reservists. It needs to be mandated in my opinion. That is one group that is wearing 80 lbs of gear one day and the next is back at their civilian job. You must be advised of the pitfalls of going in and out repeatedly.

Better that you know and learn NOW than try to get benefits 40 years after the fact like those of us who served in Vietnam.
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SGT Jennifer Rixe
SGT Jennifer Rixe
10 mo
Thank you for your feedback! Definitely some good points. I didn't get much assistance when I was ETS'ing and had to figure things out on my own as well. It's not as easy as people would like to believe... if the support is there, bonus! It makes me ill to hear stories from Vietnam vets and how much of the short end of the stick y'all have gotten. I thank you for your service SSgt Jim Gilmore
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LTC Medical Logistics & Capability Development Consultant
LTC (Join to see)
10 mo
Concur wholeheartedly!
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SFC Drill Sergeant
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Okay, so the cultural challenges are one thing, but I think a lot of the apprehension surrounding leaving ACTIVE service as opposed to a reservist returning to a civilian employer is that many are underprepared or feel underprepared. Unfortunately, people generally neglect their future selves, as evidenced by the poor rate of saving amongst American youth. If one is well prepared and has a well thought out transition plan and has a vision for its execution, it seems like the cultural idiosyncrasies could be managed by counselors with a VBA or though a drink with some friendly faces at a Legion or VFW post by someone who has already navigated those waters. Maslow comes to mind when thinking about this issue. Thoughts?
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SGT Jennifer Rixe
SGT Jennifer Rixe
10 mo
SFC (Join to see) I can see your point. Considering the age of the average service member getting out, it could very well be a matter of people neglecting their future selves. Unfortunately that piece is part of a reality of what I have been reading and learned from majority of the interviews that I have had with veterans.
I like the reference to Maslow - a lot of the research that I have done on this topic references the need for more peer support to meet these needs of transitioning service members and how a lot of veterans do not feel confident in the utilization of counseling services - the most frequent reason that I have heard or read about was the counselor not being able to relate to the veteran and not knowing the full extent of the military culture.
My thought behind this idea is to find a less stigmatizing approach to provide assistance to those who do not wish to seek mental health assistance within the VA. The population that initially crossed my mind when brainstorming this idea was those who are being med boarded - the ones that have not prepared themselves with leaving the service because it was never their intent to leave.
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SSgt Engineering
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They have been making significant strides in regards to the separation/retirement topic for services preparing service members for civilian life. The courses help with transition and setting up with the VA for medical, vocational, and other benefits as well. They also provide resume building and lots of other services in this transitional course. All of the courses are prior to actually leaving though so there are still unknowns for how to actually apply all of this knowledge.

As far as the specifics you are inquiring about, it could be useful. Assuming you are meaning post-transition, there aren’t many programs that exist to address the specifics you are mentioning after ETS.

Given that the pre-separation courses and briefings are mandatory now for all service members (I believe this was a congressional mandate, don’t quote me!) anything post ETS would need to be completely voluntary in my opinion and probably best provided by the VA or Veterans groups.
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SGT Jennifer Rixe
SGT Jennifer Rixe
10 mo
I know! I met with a supervisor for the Transition Care Management team in WA on Friday. She filled me in on some of the wonderful strides the VA has made since I made my transition. I was really excited to be able to pick her brain during our meeting.
Of course, the idea that I am thinking of would be post transition and 100% voluntary.... just like any other benefit a veteran could potentially access.
I feel like the two areas I mentioned are being brought up more and more in the research so I thought I'd reach out to folks to gain veteran's perspectives if they thought it could be useful to actually look into.
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