Transitioning out of the military is a stressful time in any service member’s life. There are thousands of steps a troop can take to make the process as smooth as possible. Sometimes, however, life comes at you fast and before you’re ready, you’re being told to pack your bags. Your service is no longer needed.
Suddenly, a lifestyle that is strictly regulated, day-in and day-out, is coming to its end — and sooner than expected. Many troops aren’t sure what, exactly, they’re going to do once they receive their DD-214 and the uncertainty puts them on edge.
Words of encouragement are helpful to hear, but many people, for some reason, just don’t have a filter and blurt out random crap. Here’s what you definitely shouldn’t say to a troop getting out.
1. “What would you rather do, become homeless or join the reserves?”
Gee, this is a tough one… Let me think about it.
In all seriousness, there are, unfortunately, a lot of homeless veterans out there. The idea of joining that club shouldn’t rank high on anyone’s list.
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Learn to become a civilian again, then decide later.
2. “You’ll be back soon enough.”
The fact is, many veterans miss the idea of serving and do join with other branches of service for various reasons. We give those men and women a tip of the hat for continuing their military badassery.
3. “Are you really just getting kicked out?”
Sure, some troops do intentionally mask the fact that they’re getting kicked out — but it’s still a d*ck move to ask somebody that question.
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You tell them, Arnold. It’s a dumb stigma.
4. “Are you planning on being a cop or something?”
Unfortunately, there’s a stigma associated with some service members (infantrymen) that states the only job on the outside they qualify for is a career in law enforcement. Although that rings true for many veterans, others seek different avenues and some find great success.
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If you can solely live off of the G.I. Bill for the next few years, you should.
5. “So, are you just going to live off the post-9/11 G.I. Bill for the next three years and go to school?”
If that’s the case, you should proudly say “yes,” because you’ve earned every f*cking cent of the G.I. Bill.