While they may have been playing a game rather than serving in combat, a few former NFL players who have already made the switch to retirement shared their stories with veterans adapting to life after service.
Former members of the Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts were on hand to talk veterans through the transition to new phases of their post-service lives at the Jan. 19 "Real Warriors, Real Battles, Real Strength Game Day," event in Fort Carson, Colo., according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. Much like servicemen and women, football players prepare their entire lives for a single purpose and when that career is taken away from them by age or injury, the change can be difficult.
"Depression knocked me out, insecurities knocked me out," said Chris Sanders, a former Titans wide receiver who played seven years in the league. "But when I reached out and got help – that's when I got back in the game."
The issues facing soldiers coming home or leaving active duty are as serious as they are numerous. One of the most prevalent is post-traumatic stress disorder, which Military.com says affects nearly 30 percent of all soldiers who have experienced combat situations.
Mental health services are usually included among benefits for veterans struggling with leaving their military career behind.