Being a member of the UK Military is often compared to being part of a large extended family where there is a sense of shared purpose, humour, discipline, comradeship and team spirit.These very positive experiences were described to us by the veterans who had undergone their resettlement, but also whilst gathering information for this book it was indicated that, sadly, there is a negative side experienced by service leavers such as a feeling of being “fobbed off”, of being “no use to society”, of “not knowing where” they fit in and this in turn led to “real despair”, “severe anxiety”, “frustration” and “lack of identity”. What an incredibly sad situation.
We train people in techniques to support us in times of threat, crisis and war, when most of the population runs away from danger, these brave souls run into the danger. Yet, when their work is done, they feel they are entering into a society in which they no longer belong. We felt compelled to put together this guide to help UK military leavers to find help and support.
People coming out of the military need help to do things that many of us take for granted. For example, registering for a GP, renting a home, buying a house and applying for jobs are just a few tasks that veterans are likely to find challenging. So, Signposts for Civvy Street provides some direction in offering suggestions for carrying out some of these tasks, and provides information of many agencies and charities that can offer specific and targeted help.
We acknowledge that the military provides some information and support for military leavers, but we also understand that this is, at times disparate and difficult to access. Our hope is that this book helps veterans to understand some of the challenges, but also, offers suggestions for getting further advice and support.