Military Retirement: In a similar path as most of you, but I think I found my exit

by Penelope, Sumter SC

I just retired, 1 Aug 20, had just returned from a deployment and because of COVID-19 was delayed in returning. I was able to do my 14-day quarantine and out process (at my unit in Oklahoma) and head to SC where my family was at.

Everything that happened last year, the deployment, the move, the retirement transition, the moving in with my family (we have 3 young kids, I have another son out of the house already).... just felt and I still think I feel it, it's taken a toll on me.

I definitely feel like a different person but there isn't one single day I wake up searching for a sense of stability, being genuine, finding purpose. Every day is different and the days that are rough, I wake up the next day doing damage control.

The one good thing of being Saudi that we couldn't drink there. So coming back and drinking was also an adjustment so as a blessing, I cannot drink too much because I don't have a tolerance nor the taste I use to have for beer and whiskey.

I recently started a job in a national guard unit with the Army, as a civilian administrator. It is an adjustment and I am very bored but I am thankful for the job and the folks I work with. Everyone is real nice.

I've also started to get into a routine of working out again. I am not the same as I use to be, there are a lot more aches and pains that take longer to heal. And I am not the one to pop meds right away.

I've also joined the local American Legion Post but because of COVID, there's not much involvement so it felt like a bust at first. However, I am still trying to get involve as much as possible, and I feel I am on my way to building friendships.

I get a lot of joy from my little ones because I see them developing, and those personalities bring lots of smiles. I take a lot of my frustrations and moodiness on my wife yet once I gain my rationale back, I apologize and tell her how much she means to me. I tell her how loving and supportive she is. She always tells me that she understands I'm going through something and says all she wants is for me to love her forever.

Sorry I'm rambling without a real purpose here. It feels good to share.

For my brothers and sisters out there, I'm praying for you. I do believe that the days where one feels no purpose and just wonder what life is about now... it is worth to stand up and keep on fighting for you. Just as when we are hungry and we find the meal to feed our bellies, we must search to fill our souls and adapt to the change.

Thank you for reading my words.


Comments for Military Retirement: In a similar path as most of you, but I think I found my exit

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Thanks for sharing
by: Larry Steward / SC

Penelope, of Sumter SC, I was inspired by what you shared regarding your transition out of the military. I also endorse everything Laura in Vermont mentioned in her reply to you.

Sharing your rebuilding story is such a good step to take. My transition from the military was strange in that I was returning from Vietnam and started attending college when that war and those that served were not appreciated.

A big part of what I do now as a Transition Life Coach is support veterans leaving the military to find their ideal job or start a business. I know the challenge you face and that is why I applaud everything you are doing to move forward and make your life work as best as possible.

Being in a supportive group like this is a big and important step. I must also say the amount of support I have discovered benefiting those leaving the military is very impressive.

If you would like any information about these services, I would be glad to share them with you.

Good luck on your continued journey and keep us posted on how you're doing.

Huge changes
by: Laura in Vermont

First of all, welcome back to the world! You retired all at once, out of the military and out of foreign places. That's two huge changes. The stupid pandemic didn't help much either.

When I got out after only four years, I thought I was going to fly apart at times. My deployment was stressful yet wonderful and I cried when it was over. They gave me 6 months in Virginia to calm down and then I was out of the military. I can't imagine the weirdness of getting done after 20.

Your family sounds terrific! And your wife is a rock. You are so lucky to have them. And you live in a great place and have a good job in a familiar organization.

I would suggest you keep doing what you're doing, and find some way to work off jumpy or angry feelings. Limiting drinking is a good idea. Find a range and shoot up some targets. Find a team to play a sport in. Keep up the exercise, it's a lifesaver in many ways.

And if you're bored in the job you have, look around and see if anything else appeals to you. Maybe there's benefits to use to get trained for something new or better. My cousin retired after 20 years and went into the vending machine business, of all things!

Best of luck to you in your after-military life! Thank you for defending the country for all this time. Now get some Carolina sunshine!

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