Family first

Many transition programs cater to the service member, ensuring that they can successfully transition out of the military and be successful as a civilian. There are few programs that actually focus on the spouse, and address the issues they may have while their service member transitions, and the impact it may have on the family overall. During this transition it is essential to understand that not only will the military member have emotions and issues to process, but so will the family members that have been supporting the service members their entire time while they have served in the military. It is pivotal to now exclude the spouses in transition conversations, and assistance it will increase the chances for success for that couple.

Many branches are starting to allow spouses to participate in the transitional assistance programs they offer service members before they depart from active duty. The Department of Veteran Affairs has also revamped its transition programs to include support for spouses who have service members who have recently exited the military as well. What many people fail to realize is that military dependents have to uproot their way of life as well, many are business professionals already in the civilian world and have to leave their jobs and find new employment wherever they end up moving permanently. They will also have to take their children out of school for the umpteen time, to find them a new school, and new housing for the entire family.

Transitioning is hard on the entire family, and there needs to be an increase in programs that target assistance for the entire family and not just the service member. Veterans Employment and Training Services have created new programs that are targeted just for military spouses. During the workshops they hold, they offer resume writing, interviewing techniques, and partner with organizations that focus on hiring veterans and their spouses. Some government jobs also give preference to military spouses based off of the service members veteran status, this can help the spouse application be put ahead of non military individuals applying for the same jobs.

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