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    Readjusting to civilian life – it takes a village

    Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling

    Courtesy Photo | Misty Barr, left, sits down with vocational rehabilitation counselor, Desiree Dial,...... read more read more

    ARLINGTON, VA, UNITED STATES

    03.26.2020

    Story by Annette P. Gomes 

    Army Recovery Care Program

    By Annette P. Gomes, Army Recovery Care Program

    ARLINGTON, Va. - For many Service men and women, transitioning into the civilian sector is often challenging, overwhelming and often times unpredictable. The Army Recovery Care Program has programs at the Warrior Transition Battalions designed to help those preparing to enter civilian life make a smooth transition. Misty Barr, a Transition Coordinator at the WTB, Fort Campbell, Kentucky has walked a mile in her Soldiers’ shoes. In 2013, as Barr prepared to transition out of the military, she worked as a part-time Transition Coordinator with the Career Education Readiness Program before accepting a full-time position in 2014.

    “There is life after you transition from the military. This is something I hear repeatedly being said to service members which is a good thing because it feels reassuring. However, I think every service member handles leaving the military differently,” Barr said. “There is a wave of emotions ranging from sad to scared, excited, apprehensive, and confrontational, sometimes the Soldier shows no emotion at all.”

    While life after the military presents a new sense of responsibility for veterans, Barr says it can open up a new world of opportunities while helping them see their future through a different lens as well.

    “I have truly seen transformation during transition as Soldiers successfully performed in internships, finish their degrees, obtain certifications, have their resumes ready and practicing job fair skills before they move on to that next mission in life.” Barr said. “Together, we discuss options and narrow them down. This process creates a road map with directions for success, focusing on what skills and possible accommodations are needed. It is also important to be invested in their transition process by promoting relevant opportunities to each of their unique transition goals.”

    One avenue of opportunity often used by Service men and women is the Vocational Rehabilitation Program. The program provides assistance to enable veterans with service-connected disabilities to achieve maximum independence in daily living and prepare for, obtain, and maintain suitable employment.

    Desiree Dial, a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at Fort Campbell works closely with Transition Coordinators like Barr to ensure the Soldiers’ success.

    “It’s a process for the majority of the service members and sometimes it is one step forward and two steps back. I explain to my service members that they need to not only have a plan A, but also a plan B and C. I believe that the most important factor is that there has to be a positive rapport developed and established,” Dial said. “I stress the importance of having a plan because I don’t want them to “fall off
    the cliff,” when they get out. This may affect their self-image, self-esteem and confidence which directly
    effects their mental health. It is very rewarding to see the transition from start to finish and the success
    these individuals achieve.” she continued.

    Both Dial and Barr agree, while the path to success may differ for each Soldier, teamwork between the WTB and Vocational Rehabilitation Program is essential for their journey.

    “The Warrior Transition Battalion and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program go hand in hand with supporting Soldiers and their family members through the transition process,” said Barr. “These programs were designed to take care of our nation’s heroes by giving them the opportunity to heal, while providing them the resources and preparation tools needed to return back to duty or continue serving as a member in their communities. That mission statement needs to hold true for generations to come and must not be forgotten.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.26.2020
    Date Posted: 03.26.2020 17:30
    Story ID: 365991
    Location: ARLINGTON, VA, US 

    Web Views: 27
    Downloads: 0
    Podcast Hits: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN