From Ross Holtan, Minneapolis, MN
Left the army as a Specialist (E-4). Was stationed in Germany with the First Infantry Division. Deployed to both Kosovo and Iraq.
The Red Bulls returning this month are not the first vets to come back to Minnesota from Iraq and Afghanistan. A myriad of veterans groups exist to support your return. Join one.
Whether you're going to school returning to work, you will be hard pressed not to find a veterans' organization in your area. The more established organizations are great; Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion are a great way to connect with not only Iraq and Afghanistan vets, but vets reaching back to WWII. Both groups are in serious need of new membership and depend on our generation to keep them running.
Other groups like the Veterans Transition Center at the University of Minnesota try to connect veteran students with each other on campus. The group also matches vets with student or professional mentors who can help ease the transition. If your school doesn't have a group -- it probably does -- start one. You're sure to find a few vets.
After Vietnam, vets wore their Field Jackets. I can always spot a vet on campus by his backpack.
I agree. I thought I was doing really well...adjusting to civilian life... but I really look forward to time with other vets (Student Veteran's Association at the U of M). It bridges the gap. I am able to talk with others who know the language and the geography, insiders if you will.