Zulu is a time that only military veterans understand. It is a time when everything is new and internal calibrations are off.
Zulu is a time that only military veterans understand. It is a time when everything is new and internal calibrations are off. On deployments, the military doesn’t use military time, Zulu time is implemented, and it takes a few weeks to get used to. When a service member returns, they are a bit confused, lost having to conform to ‘normalcy’. The transition period is sometimes confusing and often frustrating. This analogy is no different during the three years a military veteran transitions from military to civilian.
Military service increases the risk of mental and physical health problems as veterans have significantly elevated rates of suicide, psychiatric and physical illness, including depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and obesity compared with civilian populations. Veterans also face higher rates of unemployment, homelessness and divorce. The most vulnerable are veterans under 34 years of age and women veterans often viewed as the ‘invisible veteran’. However, once past the critical ‘three-year’ transition mark, they often outperform their civilian counterparts in business, educational attainment, running and winning public office and volunteering. A grassroots effort must be applied in order to connect them with peers, local and attainable organizations, develop relationships and feel part of their community giving them a sense of belonging and purpose. There is an obvious military-civilian cultural divide in terms of language, culture and comradery. There are 20M veterans making up 7% of the total U.S. population of which 58% are under 34. There are 250K service members leaving the military a year. Many feel overwhelmed and begin to withdrawal. However, if they interact with peers, embed themselves in their community and are viewed holistically, the chances of becoming excellent citizens increase significantly. There are many challenges they have to overcome but veterans are used to a challenge. We at Zulu Time give them the tools required to bridge the military-civilian divide and live a meaningful life.