Do you know that over 200,00 men and women exit the military every year? Do you know that problematic transitions are the #1 cause of veteran suicide? 

Do you know that the likelihood of a veteran committing suicide increases 2-3 Xs in the first 12 months of exiting the military? The Department of Veterans aAfairs has labeled this 12-month period the “deadly gap!”

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In this week’s episode of Life After the Military, Lee and Howie interview BG (Ret) Mike Eastman, the Executive Director of the Army ETS Sponsorship Program.

Mike talks candidly about the harsh realities and challenges of navigating the rough waters of the transition process if a transitioning service member waits too long to plan, prepare and execute like he did.

Mike provides valuable context about the vision and mission of the Army’s ETS Sponsorship Program. He describes how this program helps transitioning service members, their spouses and family members land more softly, successfully and with less stress as they start their post-military careers.


Show Notes

00:00 Lee opens the show, introducing General (Ret.) Mike Eastman to the PMM audience

1:44 General (Ret.) Mike Eastman tells us his transition story and discusses his role as the Executive Director of the Army ETS Sponsorship Program

3:24 Mike discusses the harsh realities of transitioning, and how the Army ETS Sponsorship program connects local, community-based sponsors to transitioning service members through its various unit-based offerings across the country

13:58 Lee points out how major or even seasonal transitions can affect the human psyche

16:44 Lee asks the question, would service members be negatively impacted if they began the transition process on the first day of service?

21:39 Howie reflects on Mike’s story, outlining some important additions to the Soldier for Life program

26:29 Mike Eastman explains the ingenious and complex way that the ETS Sponsorship program connects veterans to Veteran Service Orgs (VSO’s)

32:31 Lee and Mike discuss the “silent partner” in the military transition – veteran families

43:26 The group has a serious discussion about military transitions and military deaths

​​46:15 Howie describes his experience training to become an ETS sponsor

48:49 Lee presents Mike’s book title

50:37 Using the movie “300” as a reference, Mike encourages a healthier perception of service members

52:12 Mike tells the audience how he practices mental fitness on a daily basis

55:13 Lee, Howie and Mike close the show