Transitioning Back to Civilian Life
As U.S. troops return home from Iraq, a new report from the Pew Research Center suggests they may have a tough time readjusting to civilian life, though religion seems to help buffer the struggle.
The survey included 1,853 veterans, finding that 27 percent said that re-entering the civilian world was difficult for them; that proportion swelled to 44 percent among veterans who served in the 10 years since 9/11. How much do they struggle transitioning back to civilian life?
College graduation, being an officer (rather than an enlistee) and understanding missions made the transition smoother, the researchers found, with college graduates being 5-percent-more likely to face an easy transition. Officers and those who understood their missions, compared with those who didn’t, were 10-percent-more likely to revert to civilian life with ease. And religion increased the likelihood of a smooth transition by 24 percentage points.
The researchers also found that being married during service made the re-entry into civilian life more difficult, possibly because of the stresses that military life puts on family.