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January 12, 2014

VETERANS’ CORNER: 10 tips to help ease the transition into civilian life

By JIM VINES

Recently discharged veterans can ease their transition from active duty into civilian life in 2014 by following 10 simple tips:

• Start the process as early as possible. If getting out in one year, it’s time to start putting a plan into action.

• Asking for help is a sign of maturity and strength, not the other way around.

• Assess needs or the needs of family members regarding finances, health care, housing, education, etc.. This will provide a foundation to understand how to tackle the next few points.

• Determine residency. Relocation or moving back to home of record.

• Identify friends, both military and non-military, who are in the civilian sector and reach out to them for an exploratory conversation. Learn what they are doing, how their transition went, what worked, what didn’t.

• Explore potential career options based on talents, expertise, and enjoyment.

• Determine additional benefit eligibility through the Department of Veterans Affairs. If eligible, find someone who went through the process and utilize their experiences.

• Locate resources in the local community or the community moving to. Resources are advantageous and websites like www.uniteus.com help identify where sources may be found.

• Find a mentor.

• Once a resume or plan is in place, customize the message to the audience reading it.

These 10 steps should make the transition much smoother.

Veterans’ services

Press release from Molly Mabery, community relations coordinator at Pecan Valley Centers, announces a new position designated in their organization to serve veterans and their families. Veterans services coordinator will be the title for Robin Greer, a Navy veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom who has more than 20 years’ experience assisting veterans with a range of needs.

Greer might be a familiar name to most in the surrounding counties. Until 2011, Greer occupied a position with the Texas Veterans Commission, located in Granbury, helping veterans and their families. Robin will be coordinating mental health services in order to meet many needs of veterans struggling in the region.

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