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Simple Ways to Honor and Help the Veterans You Didn’t Know

No man is an island. We all need help and support from our fellowmen. And the same thing goes for our military veterans. Showing our gratitude, passing the good deeds on, and lending a hand can go really far and make a difference – sometimes even more than you can ever imagine.

And since it’s just high time to give back the same thing all these vets did for us and our country, here are some simple yet really meaningful ways to give honor and extend support to our modern day heroes.

Seek Help

Contact your local officials, from your congressman to the mayor’s office, to find providers that offer help for homeless vets. Ask what’s being done in your community about helping the homeless. You can encourage more assistance for vets by the local government or ask how such programs can be developed. You can also put up your own coalitions to plan and administer programs of this sort.

Find Charitable Institutions To Tie Up With

Coordinate with some charities that offer help and support in different ways. Find ways as to how you could do your share. You could volunteer to aid in the implementation of the programs and upgrading of the facilities. Or you may also opt to be one of the benefactors and donate financial aids, food, clothing, etc. for these vets.

Offer A Veteran A Ride

Medical care may be needed for some veterans for the rest of their lives. Disabled American Veterans provides free transportation to men and women who can’t travel to Veterans Affairs medical facilities on their own. You can volunteer to drive a van for those who need a lift.

Donate Frequent Flier Miles

The Fisher House Foundation has a network of homes on the grounds of military and VA hospitals around the country. These homes help family members be close during the hospitalization of a loved one for a combat injury, illness or disease. Fisher House operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members. You can also volunteer or donate household items.

Involve The Community

Create an online neighborhood user group that can be used to share information about neighborhood activities, recommend reliable repair companies, and find babysitters. An online group may also help identify the needs of your neighbors.

Sponsor A Companion Dog For Veterans With PTSD

More than a third of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have or will experience post-traumatic stress disorder. And veterans of past wars are still dealing with the ghosts of their time in the service. Coping with PTSD can put stress on not just veterans but also their families and friends.

Puppies Behind Bars is a program in which prisoners train companion dogs for veterans with PTSD. Donors can sponsor a dog and receive updates on the dog’s training and life with its veteran.

Say Thank You

It’s simple, but it can make an impact. And so many veterans have never heard the words “thank you.” If you know a veteran or see someone in a military uniform, say something. It may make his or her day and yours. Yes, it’s such a small, simple gesture that is completely disproportionate to the sacrifice soldiers make for us, but they really do appreciate it.

Or Choose Any Of The Following Random Acts Of Kindness And Generosity

  • When you see a soldier or veteran eating at a restaurant, discretely tell the waiter/waitress that you’d like to pick up the tab for them.
  • Send a “Cheer” postcard to military families and Cheerios will donate $1 to the USO for each postcard they receive.
  • Learn about how to support military families emotionally.  When a spouse is deployed, it’s so hard to know what to say or to do help their family.
  • Place flowers/flags on the graves of veterans.
  • Visit a local retirement home and chat with some elderly veterans who will share their stories.
  • Teach your children about Veterans Day and how thankful we should be for the service of our soldiers.
  • Display a yellow ribbon on your clothes, car, or around a tree.
  • Take a veteran to lunch.  Several restaurants offer discounts to honor American heroes. Or opt to surprise a military family/veteran with a home cooked meal.
  • Attend a Veteran’s Day parade.
  • Post a message on a social network thanking our veterans.  You never know who is reading your posts and just needed to hear “thank you.”
  • This is so noble: Grant a wounded warrior’s wish.
  • Take a moment of silence to remember those who gave their lives to protect our freedom.

And the list goes on… you can do it your way and feel free to share your stories with us by hitting the comment section below.

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