Veterans have earned the highest respect and recognition for their service to the nation. Not surprisingly, they are greeted with Thank you for your service messages too often. But actions speak louder than words. However, one can always express more gratitude by doing than by saying.
To really honor the veterans and the sacrifices they have made, one should do something more substantive. Here are some interesting ways in which you can actually express your gratitude meaningfully:
1. By writing a check
There are hundreds of veteran’s organizations who are working hard towards veteran welfare and they are always in need of some extra cash. Some of the programs they work on include helping wounded warriors, assisting service members with rehabilitation, counseling and several other requirements. You can research a list of such organizations or ask a veteran for their preferred organization to donate to.
2. Help in building homes
An organization called Homes for Our Troops builds homes especially for injured veterans who have served in combat. It raises funds for building materials and professional labor which is provided free of charge to vets and their families.
3. Sponsor a companion pet for a veteran with PTSD
It is believed that more than a third of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder or will do so. Coping with PTSD is not only hard for veterans but also for their friends and families.
Dogs are a huge part of their lives, from military working dogs to service or disability assist dogs. Several organizations train companion pets for veterans with PTSD. You can help by sponsoring their training and adoption. Donors typically receive updates on the training and dog’s life post-adoption.
4. Operation Write Home
Active-duty soldiers do get a huge amount of notes and letters from citizens. One thing that they would really like is to be able to write back home. A program called Operation Write Home enables them to write letters easily by providing blank, handmade greeting cards that active service members can send back home, along with letters from appreciation from citizens.
You could donate money to help cover the costs of this operation and liven up the correspondence of our soldiers in service.
5. Make entertainment accessible
Find out what their hobbies are and ensure you can help them find the right resources to cultivate it.
Whether it is learning Sudoku, gardening or baking, learning a new skill keeps one distracted and engaged in a positive way. If they enjoy sports or betting take them to a few games. With online casinos becoming the norm, you can access both sports betting and classic gambling options quite easily now.
6. Visit Wounded Vets in a Nearby VA Facility
There are many wounded vets being treated at a facility near you. One stellar way to show your support is to visit a wounded vet at a VA facility nearby. It is likely that they may not have many visitors and your visit will brighten up their day. Contact the staff at the facility and find out how you can help them. Identify veterans who would enjoy your company the most.
7. Donate your time to a veteran organization
Time is the biggest gift of them all. It is not necessary to donate cash. Many volunteer organizations are in need of volunteers to keep the costs down. Sign up to volunteer and make a difference with your services. Be it clerical work, answering phones, organizing and raising funds or stepping in to do menial tasks, your time and efforts can make a huge difference. For instance, The National Veteran Foundation accepts volunteers of all ages and skill sets at their office.
8. Offer your expertise
If you have specialist expertise whether it is counseling, IT skills, tax preparation training or medical training, you can offer your services for free to veterans and show them that you care. With your skills, you will be able to help veterans who are in need and may not have the financial means to pay for these services.
9. Help them fight eviction, homelessness, and foreclosure
You might be aware that several of our veterans face the risk of eviction, foreclosure, and homelessness. Volunteer with organizations that help homeless veterans by preventing their eviction. You can donate your time, effort or cash to ensure veterans don’t end up homeless.
Remember that a simple act of kindness can go a long way in restoring someone’s happiness or peace of mind. Veterans have varied needs and challenges and they can use your support and assistance in a number of ways that are not always obvious.