5 Ways to Help Veterans in Your Community
The majority of the U.S. population will never truly understand the trauma and upheaval of combat and the challenges faced upon returning home.
Many veterans face the severe effects of PTSD, learning to live with permanent injury and the challenge of entering civilian life.
If you want to show your support and appreciation of those who have served their country, here are a few meaningful ways to help our American heroes.
Simple Ways to Help Veterans and Show Your Support
This U.S. Veterans Day, which falls on Sunday, November 11th, you can show your support in a few simple, yet meaningful ways.
However, your support doesn’t have to be reserved for just one day of the year. Taking some time out of your week or month to give back to those who have served your country can truly go a long way.
Here are 5 basic means of giving back:
1. Pay it Forward
When you’re at your local coffee shop and you spot a veteran standing in the queue, offer to pick up their bill. You don’t have to make it obvious, you can even keep it anonymous.
This act of kindness isn’t limited to coffee either! Offer to pay for a meal at a restaurant, a tank of gas, a monthly medication prescription etc.
While a simple ”thank you for your service” is meaningful enough, nothing says thank you like a physical act of kindness.
2. Donate or Volunteer To Train a Service Dog
Did you know that many veterans are reliant on the help and companionship of service dogs after their return to U.S. soil?
Many veterans deal with debilitating forms of PTSD and numerous physical disabilities. These highly trained service dogs are there to offer both physical and emotional support.
But the heartbreaking truth is that it takes up to two years and over $33,000 to train a service dog, so this is where donations are always welcome.
If you want to offer a more hands-on service, you can also volunteer your time to training these service dogs. You can also volunteer your time at ”weekend puppy raisers” which help service dogs learn socialization and interaction skills.
Patriot Paws and Puppy Jake are excellent organizations which offer these services to veterans which you can contact for volunteer work.
3. Volunteer at a Veterans Hospital
Most states across the U.S. feature several veteran hospitals which could always use an extra pair of hands and a few hours of your time.
Whatever your skills are, they will be put to good use. You could be asked to directly assist patients throughout the day, take part in recreational programs or just provide companionship.
Simply make your way over to your nearest VA hospital and let them know you’d like to volunteer a few hours of your time to assist.
4. Assist with Veteran Job Training
Making the transition back to civilian after months in a foreign country in combat is challenging to say the least. But one of the most difficult aspects is finding regular employment, post-military.
This being said, you can help with this difficult transition by volunteering some of your time to help veterans find employment through job training.
Hire Heroes is one such facility which partners with companies to help find veterans employment. You can help with job training through mock interviews, career counseling, workshops, and job searches.
5. Volunteer to Build Veteran Homes
Building Homes for Heroes is a company which specializes in modifying or building homes for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Through this company, you can volunteer to help build or amend these homes with painting, carpentry, plumbing, wiring, roofing skills and more.
Show Your Support with Project We Care
As a family-based organization, Project We Care addresses the dire need to help our country’s homeless veterans in every way possible.
Headed by Riley Smith, this non-profit focuses on ways to help veterans get back on their feet and live the life they deserve.
If you’re interested in showing your support, get involved today!