Returning to the civilian world after years of active duty is hard enough as it is. Since 2020, the process of returning home has become even more complicated, according to CNBC, with many veterans facing a technological revolution at home, a volatile housing market, and new ways of completing daily tasks that can create confusion that impacts independence. Society as a whole can do better, and, arguably, should do, in order to help these American heroes gain their independence and live a happy, painful life.
Gaining a permanent home has become more difficult because of the inflated US housing market. Prices just continue to rise, and the most recent complete figures, from August, reveal a 19.8% rise according to US News. This can be daunting to veterans and, in general, off-putting. There are, however, ways forward. VA loans still offer a great amount of money to help secure housing, and are backed by a far more secure US economy than in the previous couple of decades. What can be done better is the application process. Spreading awareness of the VA loan process and the relative ease with which it can be completed will help more veterans come towards the housing market and enjoy their entitlements, rather than being warded off by the inflationary currents.
Finding new networks
The pandemic has seen greater numbers of Americans head online than ever before. The need for hygiene and social distancing has seen many businesses and services offer preferential service online as opposed to allowing it face-to-face. With that has come the building of new communities, and opportunities therein for veterans. There are some 18 million veterans in the USA, and networking can be a great way to share memories, get in contact with friends and lost colleagues, and – crucially – find employment. Veterans are a great internal market for labor, both in terms of setting up businesses and sharing veteran-friendly employers. Make use of it.
A general understanding
According to Military.com, one of the primary ways that employers can assist veterans in their transition to civilian life is through providing reasonable adjustments in the workplace for them. That can mean anything from extra training to a more forgiving sickness policy to allow for disabilities such as PTSD. Employers are the first port of call when it comes to such adaptations, but it can act as a blueprint for wider society. Rather than being dismissive of veteran needs or not acting to help them in the long-run, society as a whole can benefit from having a positive and welcoming outlook towards these heroes. That will, perhaps more than anything, create an atmosphere of comfort.
In many ways, that’s what veterans need the most – to be understood, and to be supported. Positive actions and a positive mindset towards veterans can foster a welcoming atmosphere that does as much for independence and integration into civilian life as anything else.