You hear all of these stories about the struggles of families with loved ones in the military. Yet, no one ever talks about life after enlistment. So when this phase descends upon you, you don’t know what to expect. What are you supposed to do when you are no longer an active member of the community you’ve known for so long?
Education: Many people choose to attend college after discharge. Continuing education is one of the reasons some people opt to enlist. In addition to the standard GI bill , several schools offer additional assistance as well as state-level Veteran Affairs programs. There are multiple grants available, many of which are available to spouses as well. Some of these programs are specifically for wounded veterans injured during war times.
Career: There are also job placement assistance programs. Using a points-based program, the Veterans Preference System allows those who may have a more difficult time finding employment, particularly due to handicaps caused during service, the ability to get priority treatment for job placement. Veteran’s Opportunity to Work (VOW) is another federal level program that assists in job placement and career advancement.
Each state has a different program designed to help veterans locate employment. There are many resources on each state’s individual VA website. Some states include military time served towards retirement eligibility of public service officials such as police or firefighters.
Housing: There are grants available to assist with rent or a mortgage. Some of these grants are offered directly through the government but there are other VA programs available. In addition to the grants, some mortgage companies offer low VA rates specifically to assist veterans and their families. You can find more info on this at Lowvarates.com.
Additionally, there are programs designed for disabled veterans. The Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant is designed to create housing specifically for the veteran. The Special Housing Adaptation (SHA) grant is meant to make an existing house more accessible. These grants allow vets to buy land or design a house that will suit them specifically.
Medical: Many metropolitan areas feature hospitals specifically for veterans. These hospitals operate under federal programs and provide standard medical needs, as well as rehabilitative services such as physical therapy or rehabilitation.
Other Benefits: Other benefits vary per state. Some states offer free hunting & fishing licenses to veterans. Many offer specialized vehicle license plates with a reduced cost. Certified document copies are often provided at no cost, to file for pension, allowance, insurance, or other U.S. Government benefit. Common carriers may provide free or reduced transportation costs as well.
Life after enlistment is not easy but there are several programs available to assist veterans and their families. People are available at state and federal Veteran Affairs offices to assist and answer questions.