Career transitions are hard for everyone, but the shift from military to civilian life can be particularly challenging.

Alair MacLean.

Soldiers coming back from the Vietnam War were too often treated as damaged goods by employers, according to research by Alair MacLean, sociology professor at Washington State University, it remains to be seen how welcoming employers will be to service members returning from the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — especially those in the second half of life.

Veterans, generally speaking, bring many skills to their future employers, including an ability to work in multigenerational teams. Many vets are worldly, having been exposed to different cultures and parts of the world during tours of duty. That said, some veterans with combat experience can’t deal with loud noises; others may find it difficult to be surrounded by too many people in a crowded office.

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