People have asked me, what can they do to help men and women of the Armed Forces? This is a question I have been getting more and more often ever since I started my website Transitioning Veteran. Like I have said before, people are reaching out more than ever for those who have served and those currently serving in the U.S. Military. Even in a bad economy where you would expect people to worry about their own lives, people are looking to volunteer to help America’s military.
With all the information I found using the Internet, I decided to create a website to make a simple site to go to where links and information were organized in a way that can easily be accessible. In no time I realized, this isn’t just beneficial for me, but this can help out a lot of other veterans. So that’s when I decided to begin a group page on Facebook and today with the incredible support of over 500 Fans my website is gaining attention in a way I never thought it would. Focusing on how can I make this a better website for myself has now turned into how can I make this a better website for all veterans.
With the increase of interest from people all over in what I have set out to do with transitioning Veteran, in the past month, I have added to MY WIKI page links to help military spouses, children, retired military, homeless veterans, disabled veterans and veterans looking to become an entrepreneur. By connecting with so many organizations through Facebook who are also looking to help transitioning veterans, I plan on setting up a section to help them promote their cause.
With all the emails and messages I receive from supporters asking how they can help veterans, I came up with some ideas and now I will share them with you all.
It’s a huge help when business owners can give discounts to Military members, past and present. Whatever the discount is, make it reasonable, many of these men and women are finding themselves without a job when they return home after being deployed. Unfortunately some companies are finding ways to layoff these soldiers, when they are suppose to hold onto a military member’s job while they serve their country. Though there’s rules in place to protect a soldier from losing his job, companies know there are ways to get around it. So giving a soldier a nice discount who may be unemployed could help them in a big way.
However, some people try to abuse a military discount who aren’t even military, so for companies looking to give a military discount, ask the person for proof. Either ask for a military id, form DD-214 or ask to see their dog tags, since they will have the persons name engraved.
– Reach out to Veterans who are in school to help them with doing an Internship and for volunteer work. An Internship will help them build their resume with experience many agencies seek, but if the company can make it a paid Internship this will be even better, cause us Veterans are known for our discipline and hard work ethic under stressful conditions. This can really benefit your company as us veterans who served learn one of the most important aspects in accomplishing a goal, which is Team Work.
– Take a certain percent of your companies profits and donate it to one of hundreds of Legit non-profit organizations setup to support Veterans. Use the money to even make care packages and send it to an organization that can either send it out to the troops in the battlefield or even donate to local veterans in your area. Anything donated is so appreciated among the military community and what many don’t know is how much it affects our morale, knowing people are thinking of us and supporting us.
– Sponsor the many events that take place to raise money for Veteran, such as the USO that puts on shows for the troops in the war zones. There are many events that take place and your sponsorship can contribute to helping Veteran’s in so many ways, from raising money to help the individual soldier to helping the soldiers’ family.
Professionals in certain fields (Teachers)
Teachers for example, be aware that you may have a student or students in your class that might have a family member in the military who is deployed. Be a little more understanding, understand that having someone deployed in a war zone can be very difficult for a child of any age. If problems arise with a child that you know has someone deployed, take the time to first speak to them to find out the difficulties they may be going through while their family member is deployed. Educate yourself about how you may be able to help a student of yours going through difficult times. Here is just one of the many great links out there, here is a PDF file Working With Military Children for educators.
– Use your professional skills to talk with veterans; when we separate from the service we many times need some guidance. For example, when I separated from the service I realized I wanted to get into another career field, something different from the law enforcement I had done while in. I was very fortunate to meet so many great people when I returned that took the time to talk to me, telling me what they do with their job, what a normal day was like and how they got to where they were with their career. It gave me such a great start to figure out what to study in school and how to work towards achieving the career I decided to choose to go for.
To all Americans who ask what can they do to help Veterans
– WRITE LETTERS to the soldiers deployed, about anything positive. Talk about sports, talk about a vacation you took and would recommend, write about a show you saw on tv, talk about anything. Children through out the U.S. write letters to troops all the time, its incredible and we take those letters seriously and take every minute we need to to read everything the kids have to say to us. this gives us a chance to get our mind off where we’re deployed too.
– Welcome soldiers back – When you see them in an air port, say “Hey welcome back”. When people said that to me or gave me a smile while I was in uniform, it was a great feeling.
– Support the Soldiers’ Family – Lend a hand to a Soldiers family who may have a loved one deployed. Many spouses are left alone with or without kids while thier husband or wife is deployed. Findout if there is anything you can do for them, maybe pickup some groceries for them while they are busy raising a newborn who hasn’t been introduced to their parent because he or she was deployed before the baby was born. Maybe help take care of their landscaping so the parent left behind can focus more on the kids. There is so much you can do to help a military family out while a parent is deployed, and just by offering help is all you need to do to give that person a little bit of comfort knowing their community cares about them and is thinking about them while their spouse is deployed.
– Just support us by understanding – You may not believe in the wars we get involved in, but support the soldier who fights those who wish to take our freedom away, hurt the innocent, and who also fight for the freedom of citizens of other nations who are being ruled by the most ruthless dictators and groups. They not only kill men and women, but innocent children who have no voice or power in this world.
Many people feel they have to go above and beyond when trying to help a veteran, but really you do not. Us who served and currently serve, appreciate even the slightest bit of support. Receiving a letter from anyone while I was deployed to Saudi Arabia put me in such a great mood. Knowing someone took the time to write a letter to share a part of their life with me was so awesome. Getting a magazine through a package that was donated from people back home I never met, gave me a chance to get my mind off of being in the 120 degree desert far away from home. The little things are what I appreciated the most.
What you believe could put a smile on a veteran’s face, probably will.
There are so many great organizations out there along with the government agencies, where you can get information on how you can help the military community.
I’m sure I can speak for the military community when I say “THANK YOU”.