A quarter of a million of us leave the service every year, and where do we go? If our last duty station was in a great place, we might just put down roots and stay. Some of us go home. And some of us have no idea where to go.

The Navy Federal Credit Union came out with another “best of” list recently, and this time it surveys the best place to live after transitioning to civilian life. While the focus of their survey was for newly transitioned veterans, it also applies to those of us who have been out for a while. Support is support.

They polled 1,000 veterans and civilians about the importance of crime rates, cost of living, housing costs, outdoor recreation and community diversity in any place they wanted to live, and then ranked over 400 cities. Here are the top 10: 1) Charleston, South Carolina; 2) Fort Myers, Florida; 3) Savannah, Georgia; 4) Daphne, Alabama; 5) Norwich, Connecticut; 6) San Diego; 7) Norfolk, Virginia; 8) Duluth, Minnesota; 9) Gulfport, Mississippi; 10) Fort Worth, Texas.

To see the descriptions and highlights for each of those cities, go online to www.navyfederal.org/resources/articles/news/2020-best-cities-after-service.php

Personally, I think they should have made “good weather” as one of the criteria for a decent place to live.

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On another note, if you have a few extra dollars, go online to Operation Homefront (operation homefront.org) and scroll to the bottom. There you’ll find the Urgent Needs listing of both active duty and veterans who’ve run into a snag and need cash donations. Click on See All Needs to find the filter to select by state, program or military branch. Read a few of the stories of veterans in trouble and see if any touch your heart. If you can’t choose, click on Help Feed a Military Family. They’ll get gift certificates and vouchers, plus food boxes. Then, open your wallet and help as much as you can.

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