A View From The Field

Essay by dbrown1906College, Undergraduate October 2014

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For some its having looked death in the eye, stared it down like a lion to its prey and walked away from battle forever changed. Some were never called to battle but they were standing at the ready should they be called upon.

There are two distinct groups of veterans: those who served a tour in the military and then left to pursue civilian life, and those who chose the military as a profession and remained until retirement. While service to one's country can often be a life-altering event for either group, I have found that it is the military retiree whose metamorphosis is most complete. Those who serve and elect to return to civilian life are still basically who they were before they entered military service. There are exceptions of course, but those who return to civilian pursuits are once again the teacher, the mechanic, the professional business person and easily integrated back into society as a member of a civilian community. The person that retires from active duty has no such identity, very rarely has ties to any civilian community and has learned a hard lesson that you make but very...