147 – A Deeper Look Into the VTN – with James Cawley

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James is back to give us a little more insight into the Veteran’s Transition Network.  In general, everyone has problems, and many more people have things in common.  Listening to the episodes about veterans, people may be able to find a connection and see something that could help, even if they themselves are not vets.

The transition can be any situation, addiction, loss, anything.  There is comfort in knowing that others are going through similar situations, and that everyone that is part of the network has gone through the course.  There can be anxiousness leaving the VTN course, as people go back to their communities.  The first day is about long-term goals for when you leave the course.  It is important that the goals are realistic, and not setting yourself up to fail.  Do you have the tools to accomplish the goal.  Having the perspective of the group, helps give you another resource.  Life experiences makes each person an individual.  What are the things that can discourage you from accomplishing the goal.  Everyone is different, and yet, we are all human, and have things that are the same.  It is about having a different perspective.

The last day of the VTN is about affirmation.  Each participant writes down something about everybody else.  To hear that, and have the piece of paper, helps maintain the connection.  Many remain in contact with each other afterwards.  It may be hard to take a compliment, and yet it is easier to compliment each other.  It is important to actually hear, and receive those compliments.  It can be life changing.  Having a support system is what it is all about.

The transition from being a veteran back to civilian life can be difficult.  Having the support is important.  It is also important for civilians to know what being a veteran is.  It can be difficult to discuss some topics, and some topics can feel very awkward, but that can be part of prevention.    There are resources, and people, out there that can be helpful.  Just being in touch with another person who really cares can be an important step.  Talking to peer support or a therapist can also be helpful.

Links:

Veterans Transition Network (VTN) https://vtncanada.org

Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng

About the author, Jurgen

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