Sometimes, it’s hard adjusting back into civilian life. A returning Vet needs to re-acclimate himself/herself with remembering how the civilian life is different than service life, the job hunts begin, possibly going back to school, connecting with civilian friends who don’t realize what the veteran went through while in service, living life in a different (often somewhat more relaxed) environment possibly with a family, or possibly alone. Sometimes, the vet isn’t ready to talk about his/her experiences to someone in his/her “new” culture, perhaps because of the endured experiences or because the civilian has a difficulty in understanding the military lifestyle (especially if the person was never in the military) Another vet would at least have an idea of what it was all about in the “old” life.
Changing cultures is difficult for everyone. Much is added and much is given up. If we add the adaptation to a new life by someone who also has to get used to a new disabling condition, the feeling of aloneness and difficulty in that cultural change can be intensified. As a human, we all need someone who can identify with us, understand “where we’re coming from”, or have shared some of our cultural experiences from that “previous” life.
Change isn’t easy. Change can take a while to accomplish. Change takes effort, and can sometimes be challenging. However, with someone who understands, that time frame could be lessened and the road made easier. We can take up this challenge if we want to make the cultural change a reality. We can succeed.