Current soldiers look to the future

February 3, 2010 3:01:48 PM PST
The thought of re-integrating into post-soldier life is a daunting one for many service men and women. Many of those still in active duty serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are actually re-enlisting.

But for now, it's all about completing the task at hand - the war in Afghanistan, whether it's delivering missles to the battlefield, suppressing the enemy from above with bursts from a .50-caliber machine gun or using that .50-cal to take out a truck filled with explosives.

But in time, all these soldiers will have to address life after the military, to find jobs in the struggling U.S. economy. It is not attractive idea to people so accustomed to a steady, if dangerous, job.

"It's probably a little frightening," said U.S. Army Major Matthew Weinshu. "This is all I've known since college, of course. I love being with the troopers. I like leading. And I sure love flying. It's hard to imagine life without this."

Weinshu is from Fairfield, Connecticut, and he knows re-integration into society will be tough.

"There is life after the Army for everyone," he said. "And I'll have to find something else to do. So it's a little daunting."

"I think about it a lot," Army Captain Anthony Fusselero said. "I don't know that there are too many other jobs out there that would give me the same amount of satisfaction."

Fusselero went to West Point and has family in Manhattan. Like a lot of people in the military, he is choosing to make it a career.

"I have a 16-year-old and a 2-year-old," Staff Sergeant Lorena Delvin said. "Everyone does that."

Delvin says it gives her and her family a safety net in unsure economic times.

"I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up," she said. "So the Army allows me to diversify in this job."

For now, at least, she'll stay in the military. Captain Fusselero, though, says he will retire from the military.

"Eventually retire somewhere on the east coast, between, I'd say, New York and Washington, D.C., enjoy my family for the rest of my days," he said.