Life After the Service Isn’t What I Expected

When I went through TAPS class in January, the instructor told us that transition isn’t always easy, that everyone deals with the struggles of adapting to civilian life again in their own way.

She suggested that spouses sit in on certain parts of training so they could understand a little bit about what their service member might be thinking and what they might be going through — that they hung up their uniform for the last time.

Since my husband and I were BOTH separating from the service within six months of each other, I made sure to take a ton of notes and ask all the questions I possibly could about how to make transition easier on us.

Even after all of that, I was SURE it was going to be my husband that had the harder time getting out.

He’d served a year longer than I did.

He was moving to my city while I was staying in familiar territory.

He didn’t have a job or school plans, while I had already been accepted into graduate school and submitted my paperwork to return to the job I had prior to serving.

Of course, even though we were BOTH service members, he was going to be the one struggling.


Sure, him moving up here and our adjustment hasn’t exactly been smooth at all times. It took him a bit longer to find a job than we expected and our savings got a whole lot lower than I hoped it would.

But he NEVER seemed to feel as though he were lost without a purpose.

He just kept filling out job applications and taking care of the house, while I worked and finished my enlistment.

He learned his way around my hometown and got into a routine rather quickly that worked for him. Even when we found out he had been hired, it was easy for him. He was going back to working on a base in a field that wasn’t exactly the same as he had been in, but close enough that he caught on quickly.

It all seemed rather easy for him.