Defence members feel comfortable around other defence members. They are part of a group, an organisation, a team, they belong. In most cases, when the veteran suffers an injury, either physically or psychologically they are removed from the group. The sense of team and belonging, even before discharge, is removed and in some cases removed overnight. This can leave the veteran alienated, empty and alone. They can feel helpless, confused and lost in regards to which way to turn or where to go for support. The support of the group that they have been trained and conditioned to rely upon is no longer there.
Generally, all this occurs when the veteran most needs to belong, when the support of the group is no longer there. The complete and all-encompassing sense of loss and emptiness is fertile ground for alcohol, drugs and in the more, but not necessarily the most extreme cases, suicide.
SMEAC Inc. believes that it is paramount for the discharged veteran, to as quickly as possible be linked with other veterans, IN A REAL SENSE, not just by brochures and contact lists but physically and socially. They need to be reconnected to their mates, be reintegrated back into society, and ultimately be retrained for purposeful and meaningful employment. This in turn will help the discharging veteran transition and form new support networks which will replicate and, in some cases, eventually replace their previous military ones.