One Place to Find Post-Active Duty Meaning: In The Guard Or Reserves

The Long March

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).”

WATCH NEXT:

U.S. Army National Guard/Sgt. Billie Thompson
(Courtesy of Jackie Melendrez)

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Iron Mountain. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Iron Mountain is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.

Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.

Read More Show Less
Photo: U.S. Army

Master Sgt. Larry Hawks, a retired engineer sergeant who served with 3rd Special Forces Group, is being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Friday for "valorous actions" in Afghanistan in 2005.

Read More Show Less

The Iranians just blasted one of the US military's most sophisticated and expensive drones out of the sky as tensions in the Strait of Hormuz reach the boiling point.

Read More Show Less
(Reuters/Lawrence Hurley)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.

The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.

The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.

Read More Show Less
(Associated Press/Facebook)

A relative of the man who opened fire outside downtown Dallas' federal building this week warned the FBI in 2016 that he shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun because he was depressed and suicidal, his mother said Thursday.

Brian Clyde's half-brother called the FBI about his concerns, their mother Nubia Brede Solis said. Clyde was in the Army at the time.

On Monday, Clyde opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building. He was fatally shot by federal law enforcement. No one else was seriously injured. His family believes Clyde wanted to be killed.

Read More Show Less