“Military Afterlives: Investigating veterans’ experiences of transition”

Military veterans to take part in new study exploring how they make the transition to civilian life

Military veterans and their families will take part in a new University of Exeter study which will explore their experiences leaving military life behind.

Former servicemen and women, and their families, are invited to tell their personal stories to researchers, who are investigating the challenges and opportunities which arise when people exit the armed forces.

Since the start of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan it has become particularly important for policymakers to understand how servicemen and women make the transition to civilian life and what determines how successful that transition is. It is hoped the results of the research will help improve support available to veterans. 

The project, “Military Afterlives: Investigating veterans’ experiences of transition”, is run by Dr Sarah Bulmer, from the department of Politics at the University of Exeter and is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation. She has two veterans working in the research team, Dr David Jackson, a former Royal Marine, and Dr Richard Davis, a former Army Officer. 

Dr Bulmer said: “Most research on transition has looked at how servicemen and women cope after leaving the military by analysing employment figures, reliance on state benefits and their health outcomes, such as rates of alcoholism, PTSD, and other impairments. Our research is different.

“What we want to know is how they have experienced their transition to civilian life by listening to their stories, told in their own words. Our interviews will be conversational and will allow veterans and their family members to reflect on what has happened to them. We want to understand their individual views, without working from pre-set questions or looking only to investigate certain issues that are pre-determined.”

The interviews will be conducted by a member of the research team. Those involved will be over 18. Researchers hope to speak to veterans now based in Devon and Cornwall with different levels of service, varying ages and careers and with a range of reasons for leaving the Armed Forces. Researchers also hope to speak to their families and to under-represented groups, such as female veterans.

For further information or to register your interest in participating please see: http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/politics/research/projects/militaryafterlives/ or contact Dr Bulmer by telephone: 01326 253768 or post: Department of Politics, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Treliever Road, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9EZ.



Date: 22 November 2017

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