My name is Wesley Goddard. I developed this site because transitioning from military life back into civilian life has its own set of challenges. It doesn’t matter if you served three years, six, or did a full 20 or more years. It also doesn’t matter what branch of our military you served under. Leaving the orderly world of a military installation can be traumatic.
You have lived in a world where all your needs were managed, accessible, and within the boundaries of your duty station. Then when you get that DD214 Discharge Order in your hands, you are thrust into a world that may seem like an alien nation to you.
When I returned home after 21 years of service, everything had changed. The wooded lots where we hid and played as youngsters had become shopping centers, apartment complexes, and blocks of single-family homes. Gone were the familiar places where I spent my youth. They had been replaced with growth, new businesses, and more people than I had ever imagined.
The old roads were wider and new roads cut through what used to be undeveloped woodlands. The parks where I sat on old steel monkey bars had morphed into these huge plastic jungle gyms with fake rock climbing walls, slides, padded play mats, and safety swings. My old elementary school was now a senior citizen daycare facility. Everything was foreign to me.
And to top all that off, I needed to find a job, make my way through the Veterans Administration medical system, replace my out-of-state driver’s license, find an apartment, and the list went on. I felt like a stranger in my own hometown. Where could I turn for help navigating this maze?
After wading through the confusion, I decided to develop a resource that transitioning service members could use to guide them through the process. There is no worse sensation than that of feeling alone in a crowded room. Yes, there are government resources, and VA center assistance programs, and transition counselors – but finding them isn’t always as easy as a quick web search.
That’s where After Service Life comes in. We did the research, found the resources, and we point former service members in the right direction. First time, every time. What type of job is best for you? Should you return to college for additional training? Do you have educational benefits under the GI Bill? Do you qualify for VA health benefits? Are there vocational training programs available?
Many of these situations were covered in transition seminars you might have attended prior to departing the service. The problem with those seminars is that they are very broad and generic. They may tell you what you CAN apply for, but not how to figure out if you are actually eligible and how to apply. At After Service Life, we have tried to break that all down into simple to understand information, with clear and concise instructions, and links to applications, websites, and additional resources.
A team of veterans have waded through the bog for you and brought all the information here to one location. It is our hope that After Service Life will become your first stop when you are faced with challenges. If there is something you’re trying to find and you don’t see it here yet, drop us an email using the contact form and we’ll consider adding it to our list of upcoming content.