Veterans Deserve Our Help and Support
After serving their country and returning back into civilian life, it can require quite a lot of adjustment for veterans to settle into a new environment. A lot can change in the time that a veteran is away and beginning a new career path or lifestyle comes with its ups and downs, especially at the start.
While there is still a long way to go when it comes to offering veterans the type of support and assistance they deserve, programs tailored towards vets are increasing in number. Best of all, there are ways that every one of us can help, volunteering time to be a source of encouragement for those recently returning from deployment.
In this world, it is vital that we all do our part to be in assistance to others, and for the brave souls who represented and fought for America, it makes sense that we should find ways to give back.
In this article, we discuss five simple ways to help and provide support to veterans, making their transition into civilian life that much smoother.
Here Are 5 Ways to Help and Support a Veteran
While some of these suggestions may be a bit larger of undertakings, there are options for both those that would like simple solutions, as well as complex, longer-term options.
1. Assist with Job Training and Employment Preparation
One of the most challenging parts of adjustment back into civilian life is, arguably, changing careers. For many veterans, being in service is all they have done since entering the workforce, which is why switching everything up might feel confusing or unfamiliar.
For this reason, it is often important for veterans to prepare accordingly not only in the selection of next career moves but also in how to present themselves at job interviews and at the office. Because of the strict organization and training the military and navy offer, discipline and determination is familiar territory for most veterans. This is why many of them are at an advantage already re-entering the professional world.
Organizations such as Hire Heroes work with vets, providing them with career training so that they have a strong resume, solid interview skills, and develop the skillsets they will need for their path of choice.
As civilians, we can do our part to better prepare veterans for new careers as well. Volunteer with Hire Heroes or other veteran job assistance programs and help vets prepare for new employment avenues. Assist with job searches, mock interviews, securing the right educational opportunities, and holding workshops.
Have a special skill set that you feel could be of benefit to veterans? Host a free training and pass your knowledge along to those who could really utilize the support. Take part in the 100 Entrepreneurs Project, an organization designed to help veterans and their families start their own businesses and gain the skills they will need to succeed.
2. Help a Veteran Get to a Doctor’s Appointment
Veterans can be of all ages, and for those who are elderly or disabled, getting to a doctor’s appointment can be a difficult challenge, especially in cities and towns where public transport is either non-existent or inaccessible.
Although driving a veteran to-and-fro takes normally no more than two hours of time, it can be of massive help to those who would not have been able to go otherwise. Regular check-ups and medical exams are a necessity for all individuals, and veterans especially should not be denied this basic human right due to lack of transportation.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (DAV) Transportation Network accepts volunteers to help transport veterans. You simply must be an adult with a valid driver’s license. Help out in this small but incredible way by getting in touch with the Service Coordinator at your local VA Hospital. Use this directory to gain more information.
Donate an Old Cellphone and Help Veterans Stay Connected
Want to help veterans and their families stay connected without having to pay a penny? An organization called Cell Phones for Soldiers assists in offering cost-free phone services to vets. Donated cellphones are rebuilt and refurbished and then sold, with the profits from this exchange being directly donated to not only keep veterans in contact with their loved ones but for the overseas active-duty military to do the same as well.
Phone bills to faraway places can easily extend into the thousands of dollars range, which is why giving both veterans and active-duty military free methods of talking with their families can make such a massive difference.
Assist in Building Homes for Veterans
Have a background in home building, carpentry, plumbing, painting, wiring, furniture building, or another equivalent skillset? You can apply your knowledge in charitable ways by assisting in building homes for veterans.
Two organizations, in particular, are developing mortgage-free homes for injured veterans to create greater stability and structure for them.
Homes for Our Troops focuses upon providing adapted housing for veterans that have served post 9/11 and were severely injured. By offering these brave individuals a home, they get to accomplish greater independence and freedom. Considering that they sacrificed their own lives to maintain the freedom of America, giving them a home to live in is just the tip of the iceberg.
Building Homes for Heroes is another organization that builds homes for injured veterans, specifically those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. They are always accepting volunteers who would like to offer their skills to help out and make a difference.
Help build a home and help an injured veteran rebuild their life.
Express Your Gratitude with a Letter or Care Package
Although not everyone is in a position to volunteer their time to help a veteran, there are ways to express your gratitude and thanks from the comfort of home. Sending a letter or a care package to a veteran is a special approach to making a difference in a vet’s life.
There are a variety of ways to approach expressing your appreciation through letters and care packages. Operation Gratitude organizes care packages, letters, and various gifts to be sent to veterans. Not only can you contribute by writing a letter or sending a package, but you can also volunteer your time to constructing care packages to be sent out to vets. The volunteer experience is in a group setting normally, which means you’ll also be able to connect with other individuals expressing their thanks to veterans.
Although letters and gifts of appreciation are a touching gesture towards the veterans that help Americans remain free, for active-duty military the best gift that can be given is the opportunity for them to write to their loved ones. Operation Write Home makes this possible by providing the active-duty military with blank cards that they can then send to their families and friends.
Conclusion: Small Ways to Make a Huge Difference
Aside from these five ways to make a difference and provide assistance to veterans, there are many other ways to get involved and create the change you wish to see in the world. From volunteering at VA Hospitals to providing resources and food to homeless veterans, the possibilities are endless.
At ICOHS College we fully support veterans and those volunteering their time to help vets. We want to encourage veterans to receive the best possible education they can get from career colleges in San Diego. Because of this, our non-profit vocational school offers financial assistance for veterans including veterans’ education benefits. In addition to supporting veterans, we also want to honor active-duty military, which is why we offer active-duty military education benefits and MyCAA for military spouses.
Offering courses as both an affordable school for IT, as well as a holistic health education center and a dedicated massage school, ICOHS College has many education paths you can take, with passionate instructors that are ready to help every step of the way.
Reach out to us today for more information about our programs and how to to get started.