Disturbing news from the Government Accountability Office or GAO. Separating soldiers are skipping post military transition classes designed to prepare them for life after service. Many of them are having the two day class requirement waived (story HERE).
That is terrible news, and both elected officials and military leaders should step in.
This is because the post military transition period is the toughest for veterans. Many of them are unprepared. They come home with no plan or training. They find themselves isolated. They start drinking. Their families split up. They start drinking. And some will take their lives.
Transition guidance is our best preventative measure to reducing veterans homelessness and suicide.
It was definitely one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made in my life. I was completely unprepared and I’m still paying the price for that lack of a plan to this very day.
The classes are important because there is no true indicator of how a plan will go after you leave the service. No matter how much you think you’ve got it figured out.
You may think you have a trade. But then you learn that trade doesn’t translate in the private sector. Then you’ve got no job.
You might think you know how easy it is to get into school. Its not, and many of our centers of higher learning have made the process as difficult as possible. Then you’ve got no pathway to learning a real skill.
And finally, you may get back to the block and expect things to be exactly how you left them. That is definitely not true. Just like you’ve grown through training and service, so have many others, and they’ve got their own lives to take care of.
We must make these transition classes absolutely mandatory.
Otherwise we’re setting up our troops for failure and after they’re gone, we can’t retrain them into succeeding.
Plus: How education benefits are still a slog heading into 2024 HERE
This blog raises awareness of veterans issues that don’t get enough attention on a national level. If you’d like to support that mission you can below.