Coming back home after facing armed conflict should be something that’s reassuring, calming and above all safe. However, most vets come home to the rude awakening that their lives have changed and they are in dangers that they were not trained to deal with. So, what are some dangers you have to be wary of when you first return from active military life? Here are five that you should look out for.
It seems inconceivable but a number of vets find themselves living below the poverty line, so much so that they are left homeless. The poverty is often as a result of a lack of sustainable employment opportunities. Chipping away at the problem shows more related factors such as insufficient education, lack of skills applicable in a civilian workforce, combat injuries and medical problems, among others.
2. Digital insecurity
Accustomed to secure military networks, most vets are unaware of the vulnerabilities in civilian networks. Things such as one’s IP address is public knowledge easily accessible over an unsecured network. Digital insecurity could lead to such things as identity theft, information loss, being targeted by anti-government or anti-military organizations and other serious repercussions. Vets should be informed of such risks so that they can take precautions such as using VPNs to secure their networks and communications, installing the necessary software to provide network and device security, among others.
Vets are affected or remain at high risk or being affected by a number of health problems ranging from physiological to psychological. These problems affect the success of their transition making it harder to function in the civilian society. Mental health issues are a particularly dicey topic with the society expecting the worst from vets who suffer from severe mental disorders such as PTSD and depression, leaving to ostracizing, micromanagement and a number of wrong approaches. These in themselves only lead to aggravating the problem. While the media should be commended for its effort in showing the struggle with mental health issues, there are still huge strides to be made before adequate help can be provided to these vets, especially on the part of the government and society.
4. Bad credit score
After years fighting wars overseas, you might find that your debt has accrued and your credit score went considerably low. Anything lower than 610 is generally considered a bad credit score, but you might find creditors with leniency and willing to accommodate a credit score that’s as low as 500. Having a bad credit score creates significant obstacles that limit your transition to civilian life.
5. Negative criticism
After the huge sacrifices made in defending the freedom of your country, one expects a certain level of acceptance of pride when they return home. However, that may not always be the case and you may find yourself dealing with individuals who consider it wrong that you went to war. This can be frustrating, infuriating and could be a trigger for mental health issues, violence, and even drug abuse. The best way to handle such issues is to go through counseling and to lower your expectations of what you hope to find back home.
How to deal with these dangers
If you find yourself in a situation where you are facing one of these or more dangers, you need to reach out to someone. Trying to tackle the problem by yourself will only limit your success and increase your frustration. More so, you need to find a reliable and stable connection with someone back home whom you can at the very least trust and confide in to prevent you from getting swallowed whole by the changed society that you come back home to.