JULY: SUPPORTING THE HEALTH OF OUR MILITARY & VETERANS
For some of the approximately 22 million veterans in the U.S. today, the return to civilian life is met with significant and various struggles. Here are things to keep in mind that will help us support them and show our appreciation for all they do.
With the emotional, physical and personal stress inherent in military service (and especially related to combatrelated duty), major concerns for veterans can include: physical and mental health struggles, homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder, lack of understanding from friends and family, & more.
HOW TO HELP
1. Help vets get medical care and other resources. Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is a nonprofit that drives veterans to medical appointments, assist them in filing benefit claims (e.g., VA health benefits or Medicare health insurance) with the government and helps vets with medical, employment and other general needs. The DAV needs volunteers to drive Veterans to appointments at health care facilities, volunteer at VA hospitals, assist Veterans with shopping and errand needs, yard work, and more. Learn more at dav.org/help-dav/.
2. Help build or donate to a home for a veteran. A couple of different organizations build new homes or adapt existing homes for veterans with severe injuries. If you’re a contractor or tradesman, search online for Building Homes for Heroes [buildinghomesforheroes.org] and Homes for Our Troops [hfotusa.org] — both of these organizations can use your skills to help build homes for injured vets. If you don’t have building expertise, you can still get involved by donating funds, goods, and services or land.
3. Help active troops talk to loved ones. USO Operation Phone Home allows troops to connect with loved ones through free phone calls and high-speed internet access available at USO service centers. For service members in remote areas who can’t access a service center, the USO offers free prepaid international calling cards. Volunteer for the USO or donate to this program at https://www.uso.org.
4. Send cards & letters to the troops! This is a good way to get the entire family involved in showing appreciation to our troops! Send cards and letters through the Support Our Troops organization [https://supportourtroops.org/ cards-letters] who will forward your letters on to deployed soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen. The address to send the cards to is: Support Our Troops® – 13791 N. Nebraska Avenue, Tampa FL 33613.