Negation to civilians fails veterans’ attempts to transition from military life

More than 7 out of 10 veterans had negative beliefs about ordinary civilians. This is a basic belief that can hinder attempts to adapt to the lives of civilians after the military.

Dr. Kerri-Anne Woodbury, Principal Investigator for Transition and Reintegration Garipoli Medical Research Institute (GMRI), Said These general attitudes towards civilians have already emerged as a permanent theme at the Royal Commission’s hearing in Brisbane.

“As I’ve heard from many people over the last two weeks, military people are said to be more than civilians and better than civilians. You don’t want to be a civilian. “Woodberry said.

She said in a survey of 1,248 veterans conducted by GMRF, more than 77% reported negative attitudes towards civilians and more than 78% reported having experienced a difficult transition. ..

“When you move and you become one of them (citizen), it can be a real struggle for many,” Woodbury added.

“People who were able to adapt to the private world were probably better than those who helped more views that the private world felt they needed to adapt.”

Other important factors affecting the well-being of veterans include their ability to connect with non-military objectives, seek help on health and mental health issues, and retired against changing and retaining problematic military habits. Includes regimens that are military adaptability.

“When people spend a lot of time in the army, it becomes their social point of contact as well as their workplace, so it is better for those who have other friendships and connections. I see, “said Woodbury.

“People who see service as a chapter in life and think that chapter is closed and there are other chapters can successfully summarize their experience of service and consider it to be over. I went. The end of their life, that is the end of that particular chapter. “

“It is” very important “to allow soldiers to function as part of a team, but for many people the” indoctrination “of military life becomes a problem when making them follow normal life, and as a result. She said she lost her identity and purpose, and in some cases “end her life.”

“The army is good at indoctrination to people … but there is no process to undo it at this time. What seems to be lacking in military culture at this point is de-indoctrination.”

“The term” culture shock “is the correct usage of the word for people moving from the army. This was their life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for decades and even decades. “

on Wednesday, Commissioner heard From the Brisbane GP, which operates Australia’s largest veterans’ medical care, many issues regarding veterans’ suicide are during the transition period.

“It’s literally an escape from a world that’s completely different from normal civilian life,” said Keeran McCarthy, who made multiple developments as a military doctor. Many struggles. “

“So many people get into substance abuse and can’t work when they go out. Employers don’t want to hire them because 60 Minutes says they’re broken and crazy. That’s true. I have a hard time moving forward. “

“I had a great career, and life is boring. It’s boring,” he said.

Nina Nguyen


Nina Nguyen is a Sydney-based Vietnamese reporter with a focus on Australian news. Contact her at [email protected].