Nearly half of service members who served in the military since 9/11 say transitioning to civilian life is difficult. The Army offers resources to support veterans struggling to assimilate. Lt. Gen. Raymond Mason (U.S. Army, ret.), former deputy chief of staff for Army logistics, is the director of the Army’s official nonprofit, Army Emergency Relief (AER), which provides about $70 million in assistance to over 40,000 soldiers annually. The organization also provides educational grant scholarships for Army spouses and children.
- AER started a pilot program in the past year to help soldiers in their last 180 days in the military with the costs of the Army Career Skills Program to help them transition to civilian careers, said Mason.
- Mason said AER is funded entirely by donations and that the pilot program helps cover the cost of tools, uniforms, travel and other expenses through grants.
- Mason said he thinks the services are doing a reasonably good job helping with military-civilian transitions but could always do more.