A veteran’s post-military life

Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 3:06 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - When a military service member’s term of duty is over, merging back into civilian life can be more complicated than it sounds. Each year, around 200,000 United States service members leave the military and navigating this transition can be difficult.

“In the military it’s a different culture,” Niko Thompson, Veterans Program Director at Fairbanks Rescue Mission, explained.

“You’re not asked to be as self-sufficient. You usually operate as a team, you have somebody to tell you where to be, when to be there, what to do, how to do it. Versus in the civilian sector you can find yourself in a position where you have to do all that stuff yourself. So I think soft skills like teamwork, adaptability, accountability, punctuality, and similar things like that are essential to veterans transitioning out of the military,” said Thompson.

Many of the aspects of civilian life, such as navigating job interviews and renting an apartment, can be unfamiliar after living for an extended time in the armed forces. Fortunately, there are many programs that can help veterans who find themselves struggling.

“A lot of veterans don’t know that if they’re facing an eviction or something like that we can come in and help them with TFA, (Temporary Financial Assistance),” Thompson added. “So I think it’s super important that they know about all the resources that they have earned.”

If you have questions about the veteran assistance programs available to you, reach out to Supportive Services for Veteran Families at (907) 331-6292.