For Veterans, Coming Home Can Be the Most Difficult Job of All

When our loved ones deploy or are preparing to leave the service, many of us think that coming home afterward will be as easy as it sounds. We think of the holidays veterans will be able to enjoy with their families, the birthdays they won’t have to miss ever again, or even the small day-to-day things that many of us take for granted like being there to meet our children as they get off the school bus. For those who serve, however, coming home might be more difficult than being away.

For military members, returning home and leaving the service can mean sleepless nights fueled by PTSD or insomnia. It can mean hours, weeks, or even months fighting with the Department of Veteran Affairs to get a doctor appointment. For some, coming home means feeling emotionally numb, disconnected, depressed, and hopeless. For others, it may mean financial stress while looking for employment as a civilian. Some are coming home to no family at all.

The good news is when a service member comes home, that is when the rest of us can help them the most. As Veterans Day approaches, I encourage everyone to think of a way to honor a veteran. Everyone can help those who transition to civilian life. Helping can be as simple as listening to their story, attending an event where a veteran is speaking or just saying “thank you for your service.” Employers should remember the values and dedication our military instills in people makes them excellent employees. Helping can also be done on a larger scale with national programs such as taking part in a Stand Down program in your community to help homeless veterans combat life on the street, or you can take part in the Homes for our Troops, which builds specially modified homes for veterans.

Locally, you can help with Warriors Weekend in Victoria, which brings together military members who have been wounded both mentally and physically during the global war on terror for fishing around Port O’Connor. Combat Marine Outdoors based in Houston offers outdoor adventures for severely wounded Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Navy Corpsmen. Just this spring, Fishing with Vets held its first annual fishing tournament in Aransas Pass. There are countless other veterans service organizations that could use our help and support.


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