Even Heroes Need Help
Reading time: 6 minutes
Most Americans will never serve in the military or fight for their country. Yet there are countless ways that everyone can help these veterans, who often return home from war to face their most difficult battles.
Those severely injured may need to learn how to live with the loss of a limb or limited mobility. For others, brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder can make the return to their civilian lives a struggle.
For the sacrifice veterans and active service members of the United States military have made to keep us free, every day should be Veterans Day. There are veterans in every town who need support, appreciation, and maybe even help.
Here's how you can get involved and support veterans.
Visit Wounded Vets in a Nearby VA Facility
A great way to show that you support veterans is to pay a visit to wounded vets at one of the VA hospitals near you. These wounded veterans may not have many visitors to brighten their day. Once you find the nearest VA facility, contact the staff and find out if you can arrange a visit. The staff may be able to identify a vet or several veterans who would benefit the most from a visit.
Help Veterans Get Medical Care and Other Resources.
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is a nonprofit that drives veterans and those in active military service to medical appointments and health screenings, assists them in filing benefit claims (e.g., VA health benefits or Medicare health insurance) and helps vets with medical, employment and other general needs.
The DAV needs volunteers to drive veterans to medical and other appointments. You can also volunteer with DAV to assist veterans in your community with needs such as grocery shopping, running errands or helping with yard work.
Help Veterans Facing Foreclosure, Eviction, and Homelessness.
According to VA News, on a single night in January 2023, there were 35,574 Veterans who experienced homelessness in the U.S. This reflects a 7.4% increase in the number of Veterans experiencing homelessness from 2022. It goes without saying that our Veterans deserve better.
You can volunteer with the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, donate your time and effort to Homes for Our Troops, or even provide financial assistance to veteran organizations to prevent the eviction of a military family.
Get Involved with Service Dogs.
Service dogs can help vets who have PTSD, brain injuries, vision impairments and physical injuries. Many communities have organizations that provide service dogs to vets. Some organizations such as the Puppy Jake Foundation in Des Moines, Iowa, use volunteers to raise puppies as service dogs. Other organizations such as Puppies Behind Bars in New York City work with prison inmates to raise dogs for vets. If you're interested in volunteering at or donating to a similar organization in your area, search online for “service dogs for veterans” in your community.
Volunteer at a Local VA Facility.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals and medical facilities welcome volunteers, who can fulfill a variety of roles.
Perform Home Repairs or Household Chores for a Veteran in Need.
One terrific way to support veterans is to perform home repairs or household chores for a veteran in need. Many veterans in your area may need help with household chores or home repairs because of an injury. Reach out to your local churches and VFW groups to connect with local Veterans and offer assistance.
Participate in Mentorship Programs.
Offer mentorship or guidance to veterans transitioning to civilian life. Share your knowledge and expertise to help them navigate the challenges of finding employment or starting a new career. Reach out to your local churches and VFW groups to connect with local Veterans and offer assistance.
If you're a business owner, consider hiring Veterans. Many Veterans bring valuable skills, discipline, and work ethic to the civilian workforce.
Support Veteran-Owned Businesses
Purchase goods and services from businesses owned by Veterans. This helps support their entrepreneurial efforts and contributes to their economic well-being.
Help Veterans Get Civilian Jobs
The nonprofit Hire Heroes USA helps veterans, active members, and military spouses secure jobs outside of the military through career counseling, resume editing, and mentorship. The best part: you can help local vets and vets around the country right from your own home!
When you fill out a volunteer application, you can choose from a list of potential tasks you have experience in, like conducting mock interviews, offering industry expertise, etc.
Provide Food for Veterans
Many veterans are hungry, and a home cooked meal will provide them with much needed nutrition. Even vets that are not lacking food will benefit from a meal or a homemade batch of cookies. It shows them that someone cares. Reach out to your local churches and VFW groups to connect with local Veterans and offer assistance or contact Feed Our Vets, an organization that specializes in feeding hungry veteran families, to see how you can help.
Send a Care Package
Operation Gratitude has sent more than 1.5 million individually addressed care package to the military community. The packages are sent to current military members as well as veterans, wounded warriors and their caregivers.
As more American troops return to civilian life, the Operation Gratitude veterans program has been growing. It also has a letter writing campaign encouraging everyone to write handwritten letters of gratitude to veterans.
“These are important things, especially when, you know, I’ve been on the receiving end of care packages from people I didn’t even know. And I [got to] tell you that that, I mean, that brightens your day. I don’t care who you are, you know, if you open a package, and some five-year-old wrote you a card, man, I’m good,” said Army Veteran Brian Adamson in an interview with WCET News 6. “It doesn’t take much. It really doesn’t. I would encourage people, I understand, you know, ‘Thank you for your service,’ but I would encourage people to say, ‘Hey, you know, thank you for serving. But what did you do? And how was it? And how are you now? Are you good with it?’
Even if you don't know a vet, you can write and submit letters. Plus, it's a great craft project for kids. For details on how to participate, visit Operation Gratitude.
Mental Health Care
22 Veterans a day commit suicide. That’s 22 too many. If you’re concerned about a Veteran in a mental health crisis, you're not alone. The Veterans Crisis Line is committed to suicide prevention and is here for you and your Veteran. (Note: Your Veteran does not have to be enrolled in VA benefits or health care to call.)
Get free, confidential support 24/7. Call 988 and then press 1, text 838255, or visit Veterans Crisis Line and click “chat” to connect with a real person qualified to help veterans.
Those who've been in military service defending and protecting our country deserve our support and help when they return home. Whether you support veterans with your time or donations, know that every little bit you do makes a big difference.
We're also proud to partner with the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), enabling us to best serve individuals who value American-led, American-made services. We are committed to providing top-notch wireless solutions and exclusive benefits to AMAC members.
Posted 2 months ago