Veteran’s Day is right around the corner. We are all so incredibly grateful to our troops for the sacrifices they have made with their families, their bodies, and in risking their lives to keep us safe from enemies of democracy and the American way of life.
But often the transition from military life to civilian life can be a difficult one for most veterans. Here are a few things you can do to care for the veterans in your community.
Educate Yourself on PTSD
While not every veteran has PTSD, it is extremely important to recognize that those who have served in your community may suffer from this extremely common reaction to seeing extreme suffering or pain.
Be aware of loud noises and other things that may trigger a PTSD attack for veterans. Know that if they seem to be having a difficult time, they’re not “weird,” they may be going through something. It’s important to extend kindness and compassion.
Donate to Veterans Causes
If you are able, donate your time and or money to nonprofits like your local VA or the Wounded Warrior Project. Your money and time will go very far to help veterans when you pair it with pre-existing groups that have invested years worth of foundation work to help this population.
Offer to Cook Meals
Nothing is ever quite as appreciated as a home cooked meal. Even though the veterans in your life are more than likely completely capable of making their own meals, everyone enjoys a night off of cooking and free food!
Hire a Veteran
If you have a project at home or in your workplace, consider keeping an eye out for applicants who are veterans. Often veterans have a difficult time finding employment after returning to civilian life. Do your part to make sure our men and women are employed and able to afford a roof over their heads. Often all they need is simply the opportunity.
Support Military Families
Although our service members are the ones who have officially enlisted, often their families pay a very great price. Offer to babysit, give a spouse some help around the house, etc.
Offer a Ride
Many disabled veterans have a difficult time getting around. Offer to give a ride to the store, to the hospital or church. Often you can find programs at the VA to volunteer in this way.