Friday, December 6, 2013

Learning to Transition to Civilian Life

Today TNAV welcomes a new member of our blogging team. ~km

My name is Bryant McNeill and I served in 1/75 Ranger Battalion for 6 and a half years. I was shot in Iraq on the night of and early morning of December 1st and 2nd, 2009 and had to have my left leg amputated as a result. When I was in the hospital in recovery I had many visitors showing support from both the military and civilians. These people made it out to seem like the military was going to take complete care of me financially and medically after I was out of the military. Now four years later I am finding out how completely wrong I grasped the picture they painted out for me.

I currently work full time and go to school full time (which the G.I bill pays for school and E-5 BAH every month) while trying to support a family of 2 kids and a wife and I can barely make ends meet financially even being paid 80% disability by the VA. Financial problems are very hard but the hardest thing for me I have found to be is the transition into working in the civilian world. I have almost lost my job twice over things that would be considered no big issue in the military. In the civilian world I’m learning how easy it is to mess up and have to suffer huge consequences. I just can’t act or speak the way I could in the military. Everyday I’m learning how I have to sit back, keep my mouth closed at times and not let the little things bother me. The small things I will admit I have a problem with letting them get to my head and caring too much what others think about me. If I want to make it in the civilian world I’m going to have to help myself and learn to control my feelings and not sweat the small stuff, which is way easier said than done.

What I’m trying to get at here is that the civilian world is not going to change it is what it is, you have to learn how to live in it and how to succeed in it. This is a lengthy process and won’t happen overnight, but day by day things will get better as you learn how to fight and conquer your inner battles. Don’t get me wrong you WILL run into those very hard days and this is where you can’t let them set you backwards, you have to pull through and always keep moving forward.

-Bryant McNeill


  1. Awesome brother! I had to deal with the same issues during my 5 1/2 years in college. Now that I am in the corporate world, I still feel like im constantly trying to understand how i should act. Although it is getting easier. Remember I am just a phone call away if u ever want to talk!

    1. Kyle its good to here from you im glad your involved with this website. Yea corporate level it's all about money. Money before people for sure and it's a hard thing to adjust to but seems like you have done well for yourself. I would love to see you again, we have met the last 2 or 3 times over deaths of our friends and it was sad but it was still great to get to hang out with each other then. hopefully the next time we meet it will be under better circumstances. Shoot me a FB message sometime keep in touch and if you travel done this way let me know and I will meet you wherever. It feels good to get back connected with someone who ran tons of missions with me back in 1/75.
      Thanks and take care buddy!