Advice to Service Members Getting Out

This article is intended for service members who are separating from the military, but contains information that is useful for everyone. -EJ


So, you’ve decided to get out. To leave the Big Green Gun Club behind. To seek out greener pastures, or to just leave on your own terms. Good for you! There are some things you are leaving behind that may, at first glance, seem like a blessing, but actually turn out to be a curse. The one I’m going to talk about is exercise.

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When I graduated USMC boot camp, I weighed 138 lbs.

Now hear me out. I know how you feel; I stood in those boots many years ago, looking out toward civilian life and looking forward to never having to run again. I feel you! But here’s the problem; staying fit and healthy are super-important, and one area I’ve seen so many of us veterans fail ourselves is our health and fitness. Look at the VFW or American Legion and you’ll find a rather rotund bunch. The majority of veterans I know gained a lot of weight, and I’m watching them fall one by one in large part due to health issues brought about by poor health and fitness.

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This was me when I ate whatever I wanted to in whatever quantity. Exercise? What’s that?

There are many things we can do nothing about when it comes to our health like genetic disorders and diseases, but staying fit and giving ourselves the best chance to stay healthy by eating right and getting off our tails three times a week is something well within our power.

I’m not saying stay in PFT shape (although I do now!). I’m saying that maybe a short run every other day, three times a week, is not a bad thing. Watch what you eat. Learn about how bad sugar is in our diet, and change. You can still enjoy some really delicious and tasty foods while eating right.

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You’re getting out of the military. Give yourself the best chance at a long, happy life by being healthy and fit. Your family depends on you. Don’t give the grim reaper any excuse to come and take you sooner than necessary. Eat right and get off your tail and move.

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