5 Simple Things You Can Do To Honor a Veteran
Veterans Day this year (November 11) falls on a Sunday. While most of us relish the thought of lying in a little longer on a Monday morning, it makes sense to note that we can do exactly that for a reason.
… Somebody fought (or died) for your freedom to do so.
Is “Thank you for your service!”enough?
The blunt answer is NO. As of lastcount, there are over 37,800 homeless veterans on a single night in January of 2018. America’s homeless veterans have served in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf War, Lebanon, Panama, Grenada, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Korean War, and World War II. 1.4 million other veterans are considered “at risk” for homelessness due to the lack of support networks, poverty, unaffordable housing, lack of a livable income, lack of access to health care, and miserable living conditions.
A top priority for at-risk veterans is adequate housing and a safe environment that offersupport.
What can I do to help?
1. VOLUNTEER FOR STAND DOWNS
Veterans Affairs (VA) regularly hosts one to three-day events called Stand Downs. These events give much-needed supplies and services to homeless veterans. Vets can get almost anything from food to clothing, health screenings to housing solutions. Addiction treatment and mental health counseling are also provided. These take place at various places across the country all year long. Simply get in touch with representatives in your state to ask about when and how you could sign up.
2. PICK UP THE TAB
This is such a thoughtful gesture that can mean the world to a vet! Feel free to do this anonymously when you see a veteran standing in line for coffee, paying for gas, or even handing in a prescription.
3. SPONSOR AN HONOR FLIGHT
Most veterans who have given up so much for our freedom have not seen national memorials built in their honor. For as little as $4, Honor Flightssend veterans of Vietnam, Korea, and World War II to Washington D.C. to see the monuments.
4. DRIVE A VET TO A DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT
Many infirm and disabled vets barely make it around their homes, more so, doctor appointments. Got a driver’s license? You can volunteer for the DAV (or the Department of Veterans Affairs) Transportation Network. All VA medical facilities provide this service. Simply contact the hospital service coordinator at your local VA hospital.
5. ENGAGE THE SERVICES OF VETERAN-ORIENTED BUSINESSES
Veteran Buildersis a construction company that offers general contracting, landscaping, plumbing, and demolition services (among many others). In addition to the construction business, Veteran Builders owns and manages Veteran Care Facilities. Money earned from doing projects helps them build and manage these facilities. It’s a business backed by fellow veterans and other professionals, for a good cause.
https://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/pit_count.asp(November 6, 2018)
http://nchv.org/index.php/news/media/background_and_statistics/(November 6, 2018)