Transitioning is not one-and-done

By VP2H Executive Director Tony Drees

Transitioning from one situation to another, from one type of life to another, is a marathon not a sprint. And it certainly is not a one-time event.

Military personnel who transition to civilian life might find that it takes years to truly make the adjustment to being “back home.” Wounded veterans must make long-term adjustments to a life without a limb or with a scar that constantly reminds them of how they were wounded. Military families must constantly transition to new homes and new lives.

Thinking that the transition is a one-time event can actually hurt the process as well as the person undergoing the process. When others believe that a veteran has successfully transitioned to civilian life after just a few days or even months at home, it puts more pressure on that veteran to act like the transition was successful. That added stress can worsen post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can snowball into much more severe issues.

A transition can be an extended series of challenges, successes, failures, and, most importantly, recovery from failures. Transitioning to a new situation takes time and support. Veterans need the support of their families, their friends, and organizations like Veteran’s Passport to Hope (VP2H).

If you know a veteran – or are a veteran – experiencing a transition, know that it is not a one-and-done event. It is okay to need that time to make adjustments, to rebuild relationships, and to fully accept the new type of life that requires those adjustments.

Know also that you have the support you need – in VP2H and in so many other organizations that work with us. We are all focused on helping you through the journey of your transition.

Need help? Direction? A resource? Contact VP2H. That’s why we’re here.

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