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One Place to Find Post-Active Duty Meaning: In The Guard Or Reserves
Here's the 18th entry in our contest about how and whether to find meaning post-military. We are seeing some patterns emerge? Yes or no?
Kristoffer Bachmann writes: “I think us Reserve Component types (guardsman myself) may have a different take on purpose outside/after service because most of our lives are spent outside Big Army (Navy/Air Force/Marines) apart from federal deployments.
I recently returned from my second go-around in Afghanistan (two-pump chump as some may say) and it has been a learning experience to witness some of my friends' transition from a period where they exerted significant influence (as advisors and in the CJOC) back to the 8 to 6 grind.
When we come off of a Title 10 deployment it’s a week, maybe two, at demob station and then right back into the civilian world, maybe-we’ll-see-you-in-two-months-at-Yellow-Ribbon-deuces. This can be difficult mentally and emotionally.
Luckily, most of us still have our jobs, but a not insignificant amount do not plenty of employers are smart enough to get around USERRA and the ESGR without technically committing a violation. Returning may be easier for us in some ways as we’re never fully institutionalized, always one foot in, one out.
But the most success that I’ve witnessed over the years is to find a passion. It doesn’t have to be your work but build on your veteran identity, don’t let it define you for life.
Get involved in local politics, soup kitchens, reading groups, model clubs, libraries, Scouts, Historical Societies, write something. Hell, just talk to people. I live in a large metropolis on the left coast and I’ve always found my fellow Americans interested in listening if I’m willing to talk.
To end on a recruiting pitch; if you miss the military, haven’t gotten too fat, and don’t mind shaving your veteran beard once a month, check out your local reserve unit. Chances are that they’re looking for good people still interested in service (you retired folks can check if your state runs a State Military Reserve).”
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On Feb. 19, 1945, more than 70,000 U.S. Marines conducted an amphibious assault to take the Island of Iwo Jima from fortified Japanese forces. Over the next 36 days nearly 7,000 Marines would be killed during the battle, which is regarded as one of the bloodiest of World War II, as they faced hidden enemy artillery, machine guns, vast bunker systems and underground tunnels. Of the 82 Marines who earned the Medal of Honor during all of World War II, 22 medals were earned for actions on Iwo Jima.
Now, 75 years later, 28 Marines and Sailors who fought on Iwo Jima gathered to remember the battle at the 75th and final commemoration sunset ceremony Feb. 15, 2020, at the Pacific Views Event Center on Camp Pendleton, California.
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Most recently, a video was posted on Twitter shows Gabbard evading a question about whether Assad is a war criminal.
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