This is entry No. 16 in the meaningful contest.

Bob Barrett writes: “My civilian job is a means to an end. My volunteer work is what gives me purpose and keeps me connected to my tribe. Everyone in the civilian world says they respect your military service when they learn you’re a veteran, but nobody understands unless they served (or were really close to people that served).

 

So I try to educate them about veterans’ legal needs and motivate my civilian colleagues to provide veterans with pro bono legal assistance. I prioritize my volunteer veteran work over my regular work because my identity is inexorably connected to my service and other veterans (my tribe).

I haven’t seen many civilian jobs that are as fulfilling as the military, but my volunteer work helps me maintain the separate peace I made with my decision to leave the military.”