By Sarah Daren
After years of commendable service, many veterans choose to make the transition back to civilian life. During their enlistment, they’ve learned invaluable skills that are highly sought after by employers. For these individuals, the experience is a powerful and empowering experience, but eventually they decide that it’s time for a new chapter in their lives.
Active service gives military personnel a strong sense of responsibility early in life. These professionals gain an advantage that comes with practice in solving complex problems, critical-thinking and performing exceptionally well under pressure. The experience also teaches problem-solving and stress management skills that prepares those who decide to pursue advanced learning to transition into a new career. Additionally, veterans may receive work experience credits that count toward earning their degrees. Admissions counselors can verify whether their institutions award credit for military experience toward graduation.
Each year, more than a million veterans take advantage of educational resources that are provided specifically for current and former military personnel. Just as there are many reasons for why these men and women decide to go back to school, there are many resources to aid veterans in the process. The following entries highlight a few of the resources that are available for military men and women that are preparing to transition into civilian life.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
FAFSA financing is available for individuals who meet certain criteria and want to advance their education. For future educators, the program provides applicants with the opportunity to pay for their degrees by complying with the terms of the TEACH grant program.
GI Bill Comparison Tool
The GI Bill is a well-known resource that many veterans take advantage of to further their education. By answering a handful of straightforward questions, veterans can estimate how much funding they have available to attend GI Bill approved institutions.
Veteran’s Crisis Line
The Veterans Crisis Line is a national switchboard that aids former military personnel or those who wish to help them in dealing with emotional crises. Veterans or their friends and family members can receive assistance via talk or text.
Post-Military Health and Mental Health Benefits
Combat veterans are eligible to receive free physical and behavioral health treatment. The services are available to military personnel who’ve served after November 11th, 1998 and remains accessible for up to five years after discharge.
Veterans and Substance Abuse
Understanding the health and mental needs of a veteran is important to the veteran, their friends, family, and community. Becoming aware, having compassion, and reaching out for proper help is key to bringing healing to those who are suffering from traumatic experiences or substance use disorders.
- Drugrehab.org provides relevant information, helpful resources, and a network of support to help people and their families improve their quality of life and enter a credible and reputable addiction treatment program.
- The post Help for Veterans Struggling with Addiction gives advice on how to seek help and guidance.
- The Recovery Village, with centers in Florida, Colorado, Ohio and Washington, is one of the many rehabilitation centers in the country that helps veterans with substance use disorders.
National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans
The National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans is a support service for former military personnel who have no permanent place of residence or are threatened with homelessness. The agency serves as a centralized resource center for homelessness prevention research.
Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups) is a focal point for homelessness service providers, homelessness prevention advocates, veteran advocates and homelessness prevention volunteers. Established in 1999, the organization works with local, state and federal agencies to improve homelessness services for veterans.
Work After Military Life
Military personnel have experience working in intense environments while performing important tasks. For veterans who’re undecided about their future career path, the health care field is worth serious consideration as they’ll also be eligible for a certification for veteran benefits. By 2030, health care experts forecast that the senior population will grow by 75-percent, and by 2050, that group will surpass nearly 90-million citizens.
The aging Baby Boomer population will create a significant health care service demand, calling for an estimated 500,000 nurse practitioners by the year 2022. The National Council on Aging estimates that 80-percent of the senior population has one or more chronic illnesses, and the Baby Boomer population will need the care and attention of nurse practitioners who are experts at managing ailments specific to seniors.
Veterans have many options when deciding to go back to school. They can attend courses full- or part-time and opt to attend classes on campus or online. Some colleges and universities offer hybrid classes, where students can divide lessons between the classroom and the Internet, making it a great time for veterans to take advantage of the many educational opportunities that are available in the United States.
About the Author
Sarah Daren has been a consultant for startups in multiple industries including veteran health and wellness where she would assist veterans in transitioning back into civilian life by using wearable healthtech to monitor stress & hormone levels. When not at work, Sarah enjoys watching the New York Yankees play, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga and reading a good book on the beach.