Helping Veterans Day To Day

Jodi Coleman is uniquely placed to understand the issues veterans face when transitioning back to civilian life. She’s part of a Defence family and served in the Australian Army for four years. Now Jodi works as a Claims Advisor for RSL DefenceCare, helping the veteran community on a day-to-day basis.

 

Video Transcript

My name is Jodi Coleman. I served an Australian Army for four years from 2000 to 2004, I also served in the New Zealand Army as a reservist After that. I work for RSL DefenceCare as a Claims Advisor, I’ve been in this role for just over six months now.

My role on a day-to-day basis is to help the veteran community who want to claim liability and compensation back from Department of Veterans Affairs for things that have happened to them in defence.

My role on a day-to-day basis is to help the veteran community who want to claim liability and compensation back from Department of Veterans Affairs for things that have happened to them in defence.

I have lots of friends from the military, still do, keep in touch with lots of them. I have lost a few friends who have taken their life since leaving the military who haven’t been able to adjust to the civilian life again. But on the whole, most come through relatively okay, as long as they seek the right support services which are out there.

Overall, my experience in the army has been positive. I got a great deal of growth and development and grounding out of joining the army. It’s very disciplined, obviously, and that was something I needed in my life, so that’s been overall quite positive.

Look, there are a lot of incidences that you probably wouldn’t experience in your normal day-to-day life, which would be considered problematic, so to speak. Coming back from deployments, it’s very hard not to feel jaded with society in general and the way people who don’t have that same perspective can throw off situations that you would consider quite normal and standard, and nothing particularly wrong where people lose their minds over, and that’s an interesting experience.

But then coming out of the military into the civilian world, it’s quite difficult to get a handle sometimes on the different work ethics that civilians have as opposed to what you’re used to with your military brethren, I guess. You feel like you’re leaving a family, very much leaving a family. You don’t have the connection with those around you that you would with the military.

For me, I didn’t find that too difficult because I wasn’t in the army that long, I had worked in the civilian world prior to joining the army. For those who have joined at a very young age, and then that’s their whole life, it can be a really big step.

Moving back into civilian world, losing that military families is a really big thing, that a lot of people, I don’t I believe understand. Transitioning out of the military has changed a fair bit since I transitioned out, there wasn’t the support services that there are now.

If you know that you’re transitioning and you’ve got a good run up to it, it’s really good to go to the transition seminars, get the information you need from the providers there about what to expect and what to do once you’re out, new career moves, support services that are out there for you.

Be prepared, that it’s going to be a wrench when you leave, it is going to be a shock, especially if you’ve served for a long time. Start looking early for support services to surround yourself with when you’re leaving. And that’s part of what the Transition Seminars about, that start putting those support services in place, so that you’re not falling into the hole, as soon as you leave, you’ve already fallen into the net so to speak.

If you know that you’re transitioning and you’ve got a good run up to it, it’s really good to go to the transition seminars, get the information you need from the providers there about what to expect and what to do once you’re out, new career moves, support services that are out there for you.

There are a lot of ex-service organizations, I guess you call it, offering services to current serving and ex-serving veterans and their families. The problem lies in knowing what’s out there, and if you’re in a situation, a crisis situation, it’s kinda hard to actually be able to filter through a lot of the information and work out what is out there for you.

Personally, we do have a lot of success stories with RSL DefenceCare and our claims process. People getting the liability recognized for things that have happened to them, and getting significant compensation for those issues and injuries, so there are a lot of success stories.

We do have a lot of success stories with RSL DefenceCare and our claims process.

My husband is a member of the New Zealand Armed Forces, we met in East Timor while we’re both serving over there. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the New Zealand Army, and he’s currently deployed in Korea. Being part of a defence family, we have both deployed at different times, and been in different countries at the same time. And it’s a slightly different dynamic for us, so our partner going away and leaving a civilian partner at home, the civilian partner generally will feel lost, alone, so to speak. Feel like the burden of looking after the household is on them. And not that I don’t feel that way, but I also have the added, I guess, reality of knowing that my husband’s going on deployment and I’m not, and I’m a little bit jealous of that.

Because I know that deployments on the whole aren’t the nicest of things, but it’s a different environment and it’s what you sign up for. So while you’re not wanting to deploy and be in a conflict zone, there is a certain adrenaline that comes with that, that a lot of people enjoy, I guess, so to speak.

With the Poppy Appeal comes recognition, recognition by the public about what veterans go through both within service and as they’re transitioning back to civilian life. And from that, they garner support back into the veteran community.

It’s kind of hard to explain the feeling of doing what you signed up to do. With the Poppy Appeal comes recognition, recognition by the public about what veterans go through both within service and as they’re transitioning back to civilian life. And from that, they garner support back into the veteran community. poppyappeal.com.au

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