December 12, 2017

How Civilians Can Help Veterans

War veterans face many challenges when they return from combat, even if it’s been several years since they were active. Many civilians want to help veterans – you may even know a few of them – but don’t know what they can do that will benefit them. There are many things that you can do that can make a big difference in the lives of veterans. Consider doing one of the following if you have the means.

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Work: Give a veteran a job

Not everyone is in the position to do this, but if you run a small business or are in a managerial position for a larger company, consider hiring a veteran from your community who would be a good fit for the job. Although they may not necessarily have the same education as other candidates, veterans are generally very hard workers and can learn fast. If you know a veteran who can handle the job, this can make a huge difference in their lives.

Military Defense: Help with legal problems

Many veterans in the military are vulnerable to legal problems.  Those who are suffering from PTSD can be unpredictable, and we’ll require legal help in order to deal with the many criminal or civil problems that accompany that help with that condition. These include sexual assault, violent crimes, and more.  Now, there are experts in military courts like Bilecki & Tipon who are versed in every form of military law, and then there are resources that can help veterans know their rights, even if, unfortunately, PTSD as a defense has received mixed responses by the judicial system.   You can hire firms, give resources, contact organizations, and hire legal consultants to help with this common, but undervalued, problem.

Deliver meals or care packages to veterans

Many veterans don’t have the emotional support that they need, and receiving a care package with essentials or even a home-cooked meal will really make their day and remove some of the stress from their lives. Get in touch with a local hospital or veteran’s organization to connect with veterans in need, and add this small touch of kindness to their lives.

Include veterans in your community

If you are involved in a community group of any kind, see if you can include veterans in your events and even feature their stories. Reach out to families of veterans and offer them access to your resources, invite them to events, and allow them a venue to share their experiences if they are comfortable with it. Feeling the support of a community, especially during a difficult time, can make things much easier and give veterans and their families some hope.

Help veterans get transportation

For many veterans, one of the biggest challenges is not being able to get around in their community. They may not have access to a vehicle or public transportation, or they may have injuries that limit their ability to use traditional modes of transportation. This makes it very difficult for them to use the resources that are available to them in their community. There are many organizations that offer transportation for veterans, and you can get involved by volunteering to be a driver.

Say thank you

Just a simple ‘thank you for your service’ can make a huge difference in helping veterans feel appreciated and part of the community. A big challenge for many vets is that they feel isolated from their community when they come back. Even if you do not have the means to help in a larger way, saying thank you shows them that you understand the impact of their work and appreciate it.

For more information about how you can support veterans in your community, talk to local veterans’ organizations, such as the VA.

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