Having left the Army once and then come back in years later, I’ve seen lots of soldiers make the transition out of the Army. After the initial honeymoon phase of not having to wake up early, no standing in formations, and the multitude of other absurdities that color military life, there comes a much longer period of time characterized by nostalgia. The miserable field problems in the rain and cold fall to the background. The camaraderie and sense of purpose rises to the top, and regardless of what the veteran is doing in the civilian world, nothing seems to ever match it.
I’ve seen the same in soldiers who leave the Army today. In separation counseling, I mention that with very few exceptions, I have rarely seen someone get out and not regret it on some level. A soldier determined to get out is undeterred, though. Still, I have not been surprised by the number of soldiers that have gotten in touch with me after getting out to say they definitely regret it, if even just a little.