Deanne N. Bell

** director of human resources & compliance *** deliverer of undivided service & support **

Sniper Shot(s)

How has your transition from military service to civilian life been?

To quote Lao Tzu, the Chinese sage: "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Essentially, that's what my transition has meant thus far - becoming what I might be. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED being on active duty - the best decision I ever made in my life was the decision to join the Corps, trust and believe. It was a whirlwind re-entry to civilian life and I'm now enjoying it to the fullest.

Certainly, I've been tested however, those tests have enabled me to expand and/or add to my personal or professional skill-sets so I consider them necessary & beneficial occurrences. That said, the “transition” and other things veteran-centric have been featured in my Twitter feed, Google+ page, and in my blog here - I hope that some of my experiences or lessons learned helps others to avoid any preventable pitfalls to their success.

I’m a bibliophile through and through so my recruiter, retired MSgt Joseph Abney, USMC, (may GOD bless him wherever he may be!), set me up for success by ensuring that I read our various policies and publications while I was waiting to ship out. So, essentially, I had an early foundation in being a “strict enforcer of the regulations.”

Nonetheless, I also knew during my 1st enlistment that 20 years was going to be my personal time limit. There’s always something that you will miss whether it is the experiences overseas or being with a particular unit but due to bonds that have been forged, there’s always the “remember when” stories to carry you through.

Finally, I am of the opinion that for those of us who have had the honor and privilege to serve in uniform, the transition may never really be over but I do believe that it becomes easier to assimilate back into the fold.