I perpetually hear our generation talking about what they want to do in life. What will make them happy, what will give them purpose. My issue with that, and solution at the same time, is that life is happening. We don't get to figure it out, we just have to do it. Life is happening whether we are ready or not, and how we act is up to us.
I say this and mean it whole heartedly: nobody does anything in this world by themselves. Nobody. We all want and need help at times, and that is perfectly alright. What is not alright, is expecting that people owe you something, especially happiness. The greatest failures of any society are not in commerce or war, but rather in social policy and practice. The notion that somebody else should take care of us absolutely blows my mind. Charities exist, and for good reason, I'm all for helping others. However, if you have the means to, get off your ass and do SOMETHING. This world doesn't owe you a thing, so make it happen on your own.
Veterans, this goes for you as well, I'm not just talking to the "I have a bullshit degree I should get a job making $60k/yr right out the gate" types. Our generation of veterans has the best benefits of any other. Between the hundreds of veterans charities, veterans preference, the GI Bill, VA Loans, and just a general feeling of "help our vets" in this great country, we have no excuse. Additionally, the fact that you served twenty years in the military does not mean a business owes you a job. If your only skills listed on a resume are "door kicking and jumping out of airplanes" then you'll likely find yourself unemployed, growing a beard, and talking about how cool you used to be. You need to adapt to the business world that you are entering.
It's not easy getting out of the military. You had three hots and a cot guaranteed to you, you had a babysitter, you had a direct mission statement. When you get out you have to behave as an adult, get a job, and take care of things on your own. What you have going for you is (hopefully) a great work ethic, time management, confidence, and maturity. Use those skills, put as much effort into getting/finding/maintaining a normal job as you can. If you lack a purpose, providing for yourself and your family is your new mission statement. If you are bored with work, start volunteering in your off time and taking on new projects.
Life is happening, we don't get to figure it out, so just get on with it.