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Caring for Your Family After Military Service

Having a family is one of the greatest privileges that humans can aspire to. You find a partner that you want to grow old with and may have some children along the way. This small unit of individuals will develop a bond that is only strengthened with time, and the parents will leave a legacy behind that their children carry on with their own families.

Caring for your family is a high calling, but it can also be incredibly challenging. Things become even more complicated if you have served in the military. Your spouse and children might have spent months at a time without seeing you in person, or perhaps they traveled around with you to various military bases around the world.

Either way, your military career may eventually come to an end. At that time, your family will become an even bigger part of your life as you can now spend more time with them. Maybe you finish your military career and start a family afterward. In either case, it is important to have a plan to care for your family after military service.


Seeking Emotional Help

A family does not run the same way as a military unit. Often, veterans experience guilt because of how they treat their families after their military careers are over. They might know how to work with team members to accomplish an objective, but what about raising children? Often, your family may have to bear the emotional burden of your military service. If you can offload some of the weight onto another party, it will be better for the mental health of the whole family unit. This may involve seeking out counseling from trained professionals who can help you navigate your emotional and mental state. The transition to civilian life is hard for many reasons, but it can be managed more effectively if you find emotional support.

Incorporating Discipline With Grace

One of the most well-documented components of the military is discipline. Individuals are required to show tremendous discipline in order to follow commands, achieve objectives, and maintain cohesion within the unit. This type of discipline is also important within a family, though not to the same extent. Children should not be treated like a military recruit. However, you can incorporate a level of discipline that aligns with many of the positive values of the armed forces, but grace should be right there next to discipline in terms of importance.

Teaching Your Children About Safety

Detailed planning is a natural instinct that many veterans develop because of their time in the military. The goal is to minimize risks and complete an objective. Minimizing risk is also something that you should do with your family. Whether your children are just several years old or they are teenagers, communicating the value of safety is important. Are there dangerous sharp items in the kitchen or garage that they should stay away from? How should your teenager drive differently in the winter for increased safety? What can you teach about being aware of your surroundings in case a dangerous situation occurs? Teaching safety to your children can increase their chances of living a long and healthy life.

Securing Income

Every family has bills to pay. You want your spouse and children to be well-fed, sheltered, and have access to education and other basic needs. All of this requires money. One of the primary stressors for veterans is providing for their families. Most veterans receive a pension, but this is often not enough to pay all your family’s expenses. You might need to find another job after your military career to keep the income flowing. Perhaps you obtained an injury or illness during your service and you are worried about your ability to find a job. In these situations, VA claims for disability benefits can help veterans receive monthly payments for their service-connected disabilities. Whether you find a job, start your own business, or file a VA disability claim, securing income to take care of your family is crucial.

Presence is Now the Most Important Role You Can Fulfill

Raising a family during a military career is incredibly challenging. You may miss out on a lot of milestones and quality time with your family because of your service. Even if you wait to start a family until after your career is finished, it can still be daunting to care for them and love them well if you had a difficult experience in the armed forces. The most important thing you can offer them is your presence. Being there for your spouse and your children goes a long way, demonstrating that they are your priority in life. These other strategies can be helpful in caring for your family after military service, but none of them are as important as your time.

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