Program focuses on those getting out of the Marine Corps

Published: Monday, April 14, 2014 at 11:31 AM.

Transitioning, according to Truxall, has a lot to do with fear of the unknown, such as how he will continue to feed his family, how long it will be until he receives benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs or what school to attend. Part of the reason why Truxall got involved with Marine For Life prior to his discharge is so he at least knows what is available to him when he is discharged, he said, and he doesn’t want to wait until he needs something to go looking for resources. 

“Where I’m going, I don’t know anyone, so this program will offer me a place to turn when I need help,” said Truxall, 34. “The only thing I wish is that the Marine Corps would give you more time to transition. I have a little over a month left and I still have daily responsibilities. I need to move, check out and attend transition classes. They should let you focus on your transition so it is a success. I’m just glad these programs are here to pick up where the Corps left off.”

Cpl. Clinton Johnson, 21, of Burkburnette, Texas, said that the Marine For Life program compliments everything the Marine Corps tries to do with their transition seminars. 

“The most difficult part of my transition is going to be the fact that I will have to jump back into life with my family because I’ve been gone for so long,” Johnson said. “I’m not even home yet and I’m being attacked by people who want to see me and spend time with me. They need to understand it’s going to be difficult for me. I need to have time to settle myself and get used to the civilian life again.”

While he knows they are “bombarding” him because they care, having time to decompress is an important part of transitioning, he said, because of the high-pace lifestyle Marines live. Because none of his peers are from his hometown, Johnson hopes that the Marine For Life program can put him in touch with someone to mentor and guide him to success in the civilian world.

“Honestly, I don’t think there is any real way to make the transition easier besides doing it and having help along the way,” Johnson said. “Courses and classes help, but doing things is where you learn the most. The good thing about Marine For Life is that if you need someone by your side, they’ll help find you that person.”

Thomas Brennan is a reporter for the Jacksonville Daily News.

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