COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A not-so new program for active duty soldiers and families offers them resources transitioning from military life back to the community.
This Army-wide program helps guide those in uniform to a career-ready life after leaving the military.
The Soldier for Life Center on Fort Benning brings several departments under one roof. Programs and services dedicated to help soldiers make the transition from military to civilian life. Thursday, Feb. 12 was the official ribbon cutting for the center which has already been open for a year.
"Just cause they have that title in the service doesn't mean they want to do the same thing when they get out, so this soldier life cycle helps them understand what they want to do when they grow up," said Eddie Perez, Transition Service Manager.
About 46,000 organizations help soldiers prepare for life outside of the military, and it can start at least two years before they leave the Army life. The program's military members take advantage of the program early on in their service career.
"You don't have to be getting out or transitioning, you can do them just to do them if you want to build a resume," said Sgt. Timothy Breen.
Breen is getting plenty of guidance in academics and resume writing from the the Transition Assistance Program at the Soldier Life Center.
"Outstanding because I'm not used to all the outside world. I'm used to what I do on a daily basis," said Breen.
Once he leaves the Army in November after six years of service, Breen already has a plan.
"I'm going back up north to Maine and do armed security and eventually start my own business," said Breen.
This program also helps with unemployment compensation.
"In this area it was $6 million just for Army," explained Perex. "As a result of what we do, we've lowered unemployment compensation to $2.8 million a quarter."
Department of Labor and Veteran Affairs benefits workshops and health resources are also available on Fort Benning for those saying goodbye to the Army.
The Soldier for Life Center, which is next to the Commissary on post, also has resources available to soldiers families and spouses to connect with the community life.