Earlier this year, The Ambitious VET Network and The University of Texas announced the release of a 2-year study exploring the transition for veterans. In the research, it was revealed that there continues to be a need for more transitional tools to support veterans in their post-military transition. The challenge to readjust to civilian life is not a new one for veterans. From coping with post-traumatic stress disorder to finding suitable employment after leaving the military, veterans continue to face roadblocks in their transition.
Veteran Job Loss On The Rise
This past summer, the veteran unemployment rate experienced a jump even as the rest of the job market experienced positive growth. The unemployment rate is no surprise as the issue of securing civilian employment during transition has been a hot topic for decades. The predictability that came with military employment is no longer present for transition veterans and this can come as a shock, particularly when they are required to secure jobs in highly competitive recruitment processes. The good news is that several organizations including Veteran Affairs have rolled out initiatives aimed at helping veterans get into employment. These include a military skills translator tool and a resume-building guide for veterans.
Homelessness Continues To Be A Roadblock
A study in 2014 found that veterans are more likely to experience homelessness than non-veterans. Fast forward to 2021, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness rose- even before the pandemic hit. Further revelations show that almost 40,000 veterans are without shelter in the U.S. on any given night. However, an interesting statistic to note is that veteran homelessness was halved between 2010 and 2019 mainly thanks to the U.S. Government’s Housing First program. The strategy has been widely praised as a potential solution to the housing issue plaguing the veteran community. In fact, a total of 65 cities and towns across 33 states have managed to end homelessness using the Housing First strategy.
However, a lot more needs to be done to explore the cause of veteran homelessness- and the social stigma that comes with it. One of the leading factors remains the social isolation and lack of support many veterans experience during their transition. Around 1 in 5 of them live alone. Many of them are also unaware of the financial help available to help veterans buy their own homes. Most veterans struggle to compete in the hot housing market or raise a deposit. This is where the increased dissemination of information to help veterans distinguish between traditional and veteran-backed mortgages will play a crucial role. For instance, a VA loan requires no downpayment or private mortgage insurance removing a significant barrier for veterans during the transition.
Despite Initiatives, There Are Training Gaps Post Military
Many veterans leaving the military find they have a skills gap that can affect their chances of employment, securing housing during the transition, and even their mental wellbeing. While the military provides veterans with valuable on-the-job training and skills that can be transferable to a long list of jobs, there is often a shortage or gap in skills as they transition to civilian life. To combat this, veterans can benefit from a pre-retirement career assessment of what they would like to do after leaving the military. A personality assessment tool can help them decide on careers that interest them. Once you have identified your skills gap, you can enroll in an ex-military training program like TechVet’s Veteran Digital Cyber Academy.
Around 1 in 4 veterans admit the transition has been difficult for them. The transition back to civilian life after a military career will come with its challenges. The first step to addressing these is acknowledging the issues affecting veterans as they re-enter civilian life.