Michael Bluemling, Jr. | Keep Guarding: A constant defensive posture
While deployed, there are certain precautions a soldier psychologically goes through in order to survive. So here are 7 Ways to Help Veterans Adjust Back Home.
veterans, ptsd, anxiety, stress, transition, "Michael Bluemling, Jr.", "Bridging the Gap from Soldier to Civilian"
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Keep Guarding: A constant defensive posture

keeping guard on patrol

Keep Guarding: A constant defensive posture

A TO Z: 26 ISSUES TRANSITIONING VETERANS FACE #11

While deployed, there are certain precautions a soldier psychologically goes through in order to survive. There is a heightened sense of awareness that occurs when you are in a hostile environment. This is an ongoing process of protecting not only yourself, but also everyone around you. The ability to defend your position, door-by-door or mile-by-mile, is incomprehensible.

There are mental changes that take place when one operates under such stress that stay with you beyond the battlefield. One of those is the desire to continue to keep guarding everything around you; even when you are out of imminent treat. This can be a taxing realization and unless you have been in an environment a soldier experienced, you may never fully understand what this actually means.

The question is how can we better understand these experiences a veteran must adjust to, without causing them additional anxiety or stress? We do this by trying to understand what they’ve been through and how to adjust our actions to be sensitive to the veterans’ transition. Here are seven tips that can help transitioning veterans feel more in a civilian environment:

7 Ways to Help Veterans Adjust Back Home

  • Speak in a moderate tone without approaching the veteran from behind.
  • Do not make sudden or unexpected exaggerated movements.
  • Show empathy and have compassion.
  • Reduce wait times as much as possible.
  • Remain calm while communicating, without being condescending.
  • Explain processes and steps clearly.
  • Avoid any actions of violence or threats.

 

There’s no reason we cannot take the time to understand the needs of those who served our country. The steps listed above outline some guidelines an organization and people can follow when encountering a veteran, in order to assist them in feeling valued and appreciated again. It’s the little acts of kindness that can be extended to a veteran which makes all the difference. The fact is, we all have the ability to change lives for one to a million veterans if we choose to understand what they face daily.

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