Returning Warriors: Tell us your story for how you adjusted to civilian driving

I have had re-adjustment issues. Pushed away everyone that loved me. My folks know I'm not the same. Driving on the roads is easy, no IEDs to worry about, just the careless idiot. I find myself missing everything about the deployment, especially the responsibility. I came back to nothing. Unemployed and no responsibility. USAA has been a rock for me financially. I sought counselling and am talking now. Still not the same. I was no "door kicker" so I didn't think depression could hit this hard after my 6th deployment. I'm venting here...inappropriate? But anyhoo, I look forward to the day I can be "that guy" I was before I left. But it has cost me dearly. I cannot blame anyone else but the person I see in the mirror for not finding outlets or coping mechanisms while I was deployed. I will be fine! My only advice to you "young ones", take care of yourself and confide in the ones that are closest. I may take time in healing... you can avoid my pain by being open with a Chaplain or counsellor. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face because of pride.
I'd like to welcome home all returning VET's. My return was over 40 years ago and to this day my time in combat is as vivid as it was then. To survive in this condition you must believe in your self and always be grateful for our existence. Respect others because many do not and cannot understand your difficulties, and by all means use all means of support available through the Veterans Admin. There are VET Centers throughout the United States that are a great benefit for all who served. Remember while all our experiences are unique, by meeting with other VETS at these centers you will derive relief and comfort from your current enemy, which is stress and anxiety.
An interesting question and one that has been the subject of a number of psychological studies. It is actually quite normal to feel differently when going back into the civilian life even if the soldier, sailor, airman/woman, marine, had not been involved in battle. A study I had read when in grad school described it somewhat simplistically: basic training is an indoctrination tool used to strip the "civilian" out of the person and replace it with the military culture. However, there is no similar procedure to replace the "military" out of the soldier in preparation for life back into the civilian world. Thus, the need for individual readjustment. To all transitioning out of the military, good luck.
Hello, I am retired and have been in 4 wars, too many conflicts and a few (gov) denided missions. No matter what I do, I can never get my mind to stay with my body. Sleeping is a pleasure when I can get over 3hrs per night or at all. If I forget something the first thing that I think about is my weapon second is a head count. There are very few people that have an idea of what we go thru daily. When my wife will let me drive, it's not in the right lane, nor will I stay in a pack of cars. No matter where I am, watch ever move that anyone make around me, not to trusting in some humans anymore. The simple things are not that easy, long lines crowds, loud noises or too many lights. It is a day to day, sometime hour to hour. But it is what it is. I relax at the rang or racing controlled chaos is peaceful. God made me....Man has tested me....Combat Proven. Sleep tight, I got your six!! #25

Note from the Community Manager: We have updated the title of this discussion thread to include, "Tell us your story for how you adjusted to civilian driving".

Note from the Community Manager: We have moved this thread from the Benefits section to the Deployment section.


When my husband returned the first time he had a hard time going into grocery stores especially. Sensory overload and being around so many people would cause him to want to leave quickly. He still stuggles sometimes. When it comes to driving, this was also tough. It helps his stress level when I drive.

Really appreciate USAA initiative to educate members about safe driving tips.
These safety tips are beneficial and show USAA's commitment to protect and help members coming home from deployments.
My spouse just returned from a nine month deployment in a combat area, but since he is Navy, he didn't have any "learned" driving techniques he needed to adjust. I drove him when he first returned so he could get his "land legs" back. When he drives, he tends to always use the cruise as much as possible. When we returned stateside from Japan I had a difficult time adjusting to the increase in speed and driving on the "other" side of the car again. I pulled up to stop signs on the wrong side of the road on a couple of occasions, but it was always in parking lots where there wasn't a center line for me to get my bearings! Thanks for the tips USAA!