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Adjusting to Civilian Life

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Adjusting to Civilian Life

Use this group for discussions with other parents, family members, and Marines about adjusting to civilian life.  On the OpSEC compliant MarineParents.com, Inc. Marine Family Network Community.

Members: 77
Latest Activity: Jun 17

Welcome to the Adjusting to Civilian Life Group!

Your MarineParents.com Volunteer Moderator for this MFN group is 1~HCC_proud mom (Keri).  If you have questions or concerns about the group, please add Keri as a friend so you can talk with her directly, or ask in the forum below.

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Click here for quick access to the Adjusting to Civilian Life News Articles News Articles discussion forum.

Discussion Forum

A 'this n that' and place to chat

Started by 1~Keri (HCC). Last reply by Iron~Mike Apr 19. 136 Replies

Adjusting to Civilian Life News Articles

Started by 1~sandyr, MFN VO & VPMM. Last reply by alex2toes Jun 9, 2016. 28 Replies

Dr. Cantrell Chat Night on Thursday, 05/09/13

Started by 1~sandyr, MFN VO & VPMM May 6, 2013. 0 Replies

Dr. Cantrell Chat Night on Thursday, April 25, 2013

Started by 1~sandyr, MFN VO & VPMM Apr 21, 2013. 0 Replies

Dr. Cantrell Chat Night - Thursday, February 21, 2013

Started by 1~sandyr, MFN VO & VPMM Feb 6, 2013. 0 Replies

Free ACT/SAT Prep!

Started by 1~ucme (Laura), VPMM & Volunteer Jan 16, 2013. 0 Replies

Dr. Cantrell Chat Night - Thursday, January 17, 2013

Started by 1~sandyr, MFN VO & VPMM Dec 28, 2012. 0 Replies

Dr. Cantrell Chat Night on Thursday, 12/13/12

Started by 1~sandyr, MFN VO & VPMM Dec 11, 2012. 0 Replies

NEW CHAT ROOM ( Just for Us )

Started by 1~Kevsproudmom (Sue) Volunteer. Last reply by duse2 Sep 25, 2012. 3 Replies

adjustment question

Started by 1~PMMOM (Martha). Last reply by 1~PMMOM (Martha) Aug 8, 2012. 8 Replies

Marine Sister In Need Of Help

Started by usmcsister89. Last reply by 1~PMMOM (Martha) Apr 30, 2012. 1 Reply

Honorable Discharge Certificate (and Pin?)

Started by gutsma (Joan). Last reply by gutsma (Joan) Mar 25, 2012. 2 Replies

After the Corps Chat

Started by 1~kimg (Kim). Last reply by 1~kimg (Kim) Feb 12, 2012. 6 Replies

He's going off the deep end

Started by blest2bpw. Last reply by mombo Jan 16, 2012. 6 Replies

Help Needed ASAP for a Vet

Started by PMOD. Last reply by 1~kimg (Kim) Sep 14, 2011. 3 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by 1~17smom (Julie) on August 30, 2015 at 9:56pm

Congratulations, Lea.  I can appreciate the joy of having a grandkid nearby.  Not that I have any at the moment, but I'm expecting there will be one in the next year or so.  My DIL is starting to do the "I'm getting so old" dance (she's 25).

I will say that having a wife and three dogs probably had something to do with Andy being a lot more focused than he would have been if he only had to worry about himself.  Although, sad to say, he seems to be one of the few of his married buddies who managed to stay married after the stress of re-entry into civilian life.  The money pressures, the worries about health care, getting jobs, trying to organize yourself to get into college, find a place to live seemed to have taken quite a toll on a lot of married vets.  Out of 10 guys, only two are still married after a couple of years of "real life."   EAS really takes a toll on the whole family.

I just had a passing thought, Dianne.  Andy joined the National Guard shortly after EASing.  That preserved his health care, gave him some guaranteed "guy" time (he considers drill weekend a "vacation"), and had the added benefit that, in his state (Nevada), the Guard pays your college tuition (with some rules, of course).  So, while Andy is taking college classes, the Guard pays his tuition, and his VA education benefit then helps with living expenses plus the ridiculous cost of books and phony-baloney fees that the University charges.  And the Guard pay during drill and summer active duty also helps....and ekes out a few more days of military credit toward an eventual pension.  I'm grateful that he joined a support unit instead of Infantry this time, with a Machinist/Welding MOS so he's learning something useful, and even got himself promoted to Sgt this year! 

I will eagerly await your recounting of how #3 worked.  Can you set up a camera in advance?

Comment by Lea on August 30, 2015 at 9:41pm

We finally have our daughter and granddaughter home with us for a little while before they move into their own place. Within one week we got them moved from CA, granddaughter enrolled into daycare and our daughter starts back to college Monday. Our house is a total mess and every time we start to look for something we realize it was packed and on it"s way here and won't be here for another week or two.  Stress, stress, stress, on my daughter but I'm one happy grandma, I finally have a grandchild that will live close by. 

Hang in there Dianne, your son is young and he will find his way. I know you, you help him find his way soon!  LOL

Comment by alex2toes on August 30, 2015 at 5:51pm

I am really, really liking #3. It has the best feel for my frame of mind. I will let you know how it goes.

Comment by 1~17smom (Julie) on August 30, 2015 at 5:32pm

Dianne:  I am reminded of why I like you.  You make me laugh:  "It has only been a couple of weeks. I want the darn boxes out of the middle of the floor."  A couple of weeks is like a 10-day leave -- he has barely figured out he isn't going to go back to his PDS in a couple of days.  But I understand about the boxes in the middle of the floor.  A few of options came to mind:  1) Ignore them.  2) Pile them all on his bed and anywhere else in his room that he will find truly inconvenient.  3) Wait until he is out of the the room, shriek, create a big "thump," and then throw yourself on the floor with an arm draped dramatically over one of the boxes.  When he races back into the room, just moan when he asks if you are OK, attempt to raise your head then drop back with a groan and mumble, "I'm OK, I was trying to move the boxes."  I have to admit, I really like #3, but would be most likely to do #2.  As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure I've used #2 on multiple occasions when I got sick of something in my way.

If you read through kimg's posts (yes, Keri, she WAS the moderator I was thinking of, thank you!), you'll see that she makes reference to research that documents that young male brains don't fully mature until the late 20's.  While that sounds like the beginning of a joke, it's really true, and I believe it.

In many ways, my son is a 30-year-old who just happens to be chronologically 24.  In many ways, he is about on a par with his local buddies who took the college route, graduated about a year ago, and are now either living at home with mom and dad while looking for the "perfect job" or living with a bunch of college buddies, with a job, but living the good, partying life.  While my son is doing neither of those things, he still exhibits some of the self-centeredness of his local peers -- he has a PLAN, and the world is supposed to cooperate with that PLAN, and it just happens to be convenient to blame the slow unfolding of that PLAN on the fact that he is surrounded by *gasp* civilians . . .  and not the fact that, as you so perfectly put it, "there is always going to be hoops of 1 sort or another to jump through."  It takes some maturity to accept that life just doesn't always go your way, and patience is not one of my son's strengths.  Honestly, joining the Marines was one of those "I have a PLAN" moments, and then getting married between his two deployments, and then his obsessive drive to get his degree and his MBA in 5 years, and be a business owner by 26 and a millionaire by 30.  I long ago learned to say "OK," and just watch, sometimes in admiration, and sometimes gritting my teeth so I don't blurt out, "I told you so."  When he rants, I either listen silently or speak soothingly while trying not to give advice -- funny, it occurs to me those were my two options when he was on deployment, too.   

I always thought the Marine life was just normal life in 3-D on an IMAX screen, at hyper speed.  I think it can take quite awhile for veterans to adjust to normal speed, shed the adrenaline rush in some other way than frustration and anger, and apply those much-vaunted can-do Marine skills to their own getting on with life.  I think it is, indeed, true that a bored Marine is an unhappy Marine.

Based on what little I know of your son's genes and upbringing, I think he'll start taking one step at time, even if begrudgingly, and will start finding his own rhythm and picking up steam.  Let me now if you try #3.

Comment by alex2toes on August 30, 2015 at 6:01am
Also the thing that hit e about both the post from you Julie, and you, Keri, is the notion that some how civilians are disorganized, lazy,and logical & Marines are not. Really? I have never seen this infamous superior military behavior that is so highly touted. I hear plenty of stories about how dumb the military is. eg: why can't you wear gloves because you are cold? Because you are not in the field. Why can't you wear a jacket? Because you are wearing camis. My civilian mind says "what does that have to do with anything?"So I just accept that that is one of the hoops you have to jump through, while my Marine is still raging against the system. You would have thought after 4 years of the Marines, he'd have gotten it figured out that there is always going to be hoops of 1 sort or another to jump through.
Comment by alex2toes on August 30, 2015 at 5:43am
It has only been a couple of weeks. I want the darn boxes out of the middle of the floor.
He's a good kid and I am impatient. Always have been. It is my besetting sin and I struggle with it every day of my life. I struggle with the fact that if someone tells me "I am going to do X,Y&Z" then they darn well better do X,Y&Z. And how I always feel let down and lose a little faith when they don't.
I am tired of being inundated with concealed carry laws. I love my son dearly, I just want him to act like the adult that I know he is.
I like the contract idea. If he doesn't start getting it together in the next month, I may use that ides.
Comment by 1~Keri (HCC) on August 29, 2015 at 11:00pm
Julie you summed it up really well. I'm sure there are more members going through this same thing with their EAS Marines.
A chat would be great or maybe just a discussion thread to bring everyone together.

Reply by 1~kimg (Kim) on January 8, 2012
http://marinefamilynetwork.com/group/civilianlife/forum/topics/afte...
"This phase is very frustrating but the one thing I can tell you is that it does get better with time. I can't tell you how much time because each vet is different. Just be patient, be loving, be available, but be firm. Set your ground rules and stick to them. It is good your son got his own apartment. That will make life easier for both of you. Don't pressure him in to anything, but you can advocate for him. Signing up for unemployment is a good thing. Going to school is a good thing. Going to the VA is a good thing. Everything is two steps forward, one back. Hang in there."
Comment by 1~17smom (Julie) on August 29, 2015 at 8:04pm

Dianne - one more thing.  It seems to me your son comes from pretty good stock.  He'll get tired of moping around and get going.  How could he not, with a mom who thinks going out and chopping a pile of wood before breakfast is a good way to start the day????

Comment by 1~17smom (Julie) on August 29, 2015 at 8:03pm

Dianne:  How long has your son been home?  It does take awhile for them to adjust to not having someone else control every second of their lives.  Several years ago, before your time, there was a moderator here who was an attorney (I think) specializing in VA benefits cases, and who very kindly shared her experiences with her son post-EAS.  She described that typical scenario of the kid who kept meaning to go register for classes but never made it, half-heartedly looked for work, but mostly hung out doing not much of anything.  She finally wrote a contract with him and said, "Here's the deal.  This is my house.  You are welcome to be here while you get organized, but there are some minimum expectations in order to stay here as a guest.  You're an adult, I'm an adult.  We both need to have our own lives."  There were certain chores he had to do, and certain steps to re-claiming his own life he had to complete (school, job apps, etc..  It was a six-month contract, I think.  It seemed to have worked -- while it felt a little like taking over the role of her son's command, that may have been the right transition approach to get him going again.  It's food for thought. 

My son's transition wasn't quite that bad -- as a matter of fact, I think he went a little too much in the other direction, wanting to accomplish all his life's plans right this minute.  He was pretty obnoxious for awhile, and very frustrated.  I listened to a lot of ranting about the stupidity of the civilian race.  It's going on two and half years since he's been out, and he's still frustrated and bouncing around a bit from new idea to new idea, but it's mostly all forward so I can't complain.

If it's only been a couple of months of lackadaisical behavior, I'd say that's about the norm.  Everything thing they know, every way they operated for four years just got taken away from them and now they have to make choices, and put up with unhelpful people who don't keep commitments, and be totally in charge of their own lives.  It's got to be weird.

Comment by alex2toes on August 29, 2015 at 10:50am

I just wanted to say that it is all well and good that the Marines give classes in EAS to the individual Marines. Now what about the families that have to deal with them?

I have this lost individual sitting in my house, can't get his rear in gear to do anything, knows he should, but won't.

He is a grown man & I am back to treating him like he is in Middle School. I thought that phase was over.

 

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