Veterans face a number of challenges as they transition back to civilian life, particularly in securing employment. Cultural differences between civilian society and military environments often create barriers, further widening the gap. Traditionally, veterans were prioritized by companies and small businesses, thanks to state-level unemployment initiatives. However, the current scenario paints a much different picture. In interviews, military experiences, once considered valuable, are either overlooked or undervalued. Today, Foxhole Veterans Charity Foundation would like to share how martial arts can help integrate veterans back into the civilian workforce.
How Martial Arts Training Benefits Veterans
Among the many solutions to help veterans reintegrate back into civilian life, martial arts stands out as a unique and effective integration tool. Martial arts offers:
• Discipline and Focus: Veterans are well acquainted with the discipline. Transitioning to martial arts can further refine this discipline, making them even more focused and diligent, a quality valued by employers.
• Stress Relief: Martial arts training offers therapeutic benefits. It can help veterans cope with anxiety and PTSD, making their transition smoother.
• Community: Joining a martial arts class can provide veterans with a sense of community, helping them rebuild social connections outside the military realm. Remembering their first day of basic training, many veterans recall the nervousness and fear of transitioning from civilian life to military service. The reverse transition, though less discussed, can be just as challenging with unemployment exacerbating these struggles. A report “Well after Service” by Nancy Berglass and Dr. Margaret C. Harrell, from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), dives deep into these challenges. They identified pressing issues and why veterans are often left unemployed, such as:
• Cultural Polarization: With less than 1% of Americans serving in the military, the broader civilian society remains largely uninformed about the unique challenges veterans face. This includes injuries, effects on personal relationships, and trauma from their service tenure.
• Frequent Deployments: Multiple deployments take a toll on veterans’ mental and physical health, making their reintegration even more complex.
• Lack of Comprehensive Reintegration: While the U.S. Department of Defense effectively addresses the needs of on-duty members, a holistic reintegration approach is missing. Most initiatives focus on singular issues like education, healthcare, or employment, rather than addressing reintegration as a multi-faceted challenge.
Training Veterans Out of Victorious Gym in Troy, Michigan
The solution proposed in the report calls for a cohesive approach, involving the Department of Defense, the Department of Veteran Affairs, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders. Their goal is to develop a holistic reintegration program tailored for veterans. Strategies, stemming from the grassroots level to government, can make a tangible difference in veterans’ lives. Martial arts, with its many benefits, can play an integral role in this transition. Its blend of physical and mental discipline, combined with its community-building aspects, makes it a potential bridge to help veterans reintegrate seamlessly into civilian life. Foxhole Veterans Charity Foundation is dedicated to providing a place for our veterans to come and begin integrating back into civilian life through a great community and martial arts.