Serving in the military is dangerous, with personnel facing events the majority of the population can scarcely imagine. Naturally, readjusting to civilian life is going to be potentially demanding, and as each and every soldier, marine, airman or seaman is an individual, that transition is going to be far more difficult for some than others.
According to The Pew Research Center, a think-tank responsible for analyzing aspects of social behavior for public information, a recent survey of veterans discovered 72% reported they felt readjusting to civilian life was a straightforward experience. But that still meant that 27% – over one in four – found it difficult. This rose to 44% for those veterans who served in the decade following the terrorist attacks on New York on September 11 2001.
There are factors which make the transition even more fraught, such as experiencing traumatic events such as coming under fire, while serious injury would be another impediment to a smooth alteration from military to civil activities. Among the groups who were most prone to finding it hard to find their feet were post 9/11 veterans who married in service, and those who knew someone who had been killed or injured in action.
Veterans cite numerous other instances that have had a direct impact on their ability to deal with their change in circumstances. An unfortunate aspect of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is that it can take considerable time before the symptoms manifest. Counseling is never offered close to a traumatic event for the plain reason the human body takes time to react. Sometimes an artificial shield develops to distance the victim from whatever has occurred. This is a relatively common coping mechanism. But PTSD can manifest much later, as the enormity of the experience sets in. Unfortunately, this delayed reaction can have fundamental consequences when it hits an individual as they are trying to re-establish relationships or find employment.
Having served as part of a disciplined unit can also leave people ill-equipped with the demands of having to fend for themselves in unfamiliar settings. Depending on the length of time they served, when it comes to applying for jobs they might find end up competing with much younger and more qualified individuals. Because they have spent time under severe duress they might be lacking in confidence when opening up to a potential love interest.
It is this latter point that does offer a ray of hope to those soldiers who have fallen into the bracket of veterans experiencing a difficult transition. There are ways of subtly entering the relationship market, allowing what can be a traumatic activity to become far less unnerving.
These days a former soldier has an array of matchmaking websites at his or her disposal, and these are so much more than places where you can hook up with random strangers for sex (although there are certain sites which pander to that superficial type of dating!)
But a veteran can sign-up and easily decide to use this site or that dating app, depending on whichever one has caught their eye. They can introduce themselves to other singles at their own pace, taking their time to sort out the compatible individuals to those they would prefer to avoid.
These websites provide discreet chat rooms where visitors can introduce themselves to people and begin establishing a rapport. They can choose to connect with civilians, but there are also dating sites exclusively for veterans. The important point is no one need ever feel they are alone while they are readjusting.