By Daniel J. Zimmerman, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs

Transitioning from military service to the next chapter of your life brings many important decisions and changes. You may seek a new career or are aiming to return to a previous job, only to find the employment opportunities aren’t what you were expecting. It’s a difficult task to translate your experience to the requirements of civilian employment, even though your training equips you with the necessary ingredients for success — leadership, team orientation, adaptability, strategic thinking and the ability to work under pressure.

You also face new lifestyle options and may have a spouse or children with needs and desires of their own. Daily necessities such as housing, food and clothing now fall on you to provide for yourself and your loved ones, and you may be facing these pressures in a new, unfamiliar location. These complex decisions often create mixed feelings for service members preparing to reenter civilian life.

You do not have to face the uncertainty of your post-military life alone. Not in Wisconsin, where we stand ready to welcome you into a community that collaborates to make sure veterans and their families achieve the life they crave and deserve following their service to our country. We offer more benefits to veterans than any other state in the country because we value the contributions veterans make to our communities.

In support of transitioning veterans, we have created this blog — Veterans Forward — here on Our goal is to provide regular information on the countless resources and programs available in the state to help you and your family achieve your definition of success, while also celebrating the many economic, cultural and recreational attributes of Wisconsin that create an exceptional quality of life for its citizens.

We also want you to hear from the Wisconsin veterans community directly. With more than 350,000 veterans already living in the state, we will highlight stories from those who have gone through the journey you’re about to embark on. You’ll hear firsthand how Wisconsin has been instrumental to their personal and professional fulfillment and how an entire community of Wisconsin veterans and citizens awaits your arrival.

Let me be the first to extend my welcome to the state I am proud to call home.