Despite our differences of opinion on politics that was more apparent than ever this past election, we are unified in our support of and gratitude for our military service men and women. Too often, we take our freedom for granted. Simple things like being able to voice our opinion vehemently on social media is a luxury many countries do not have — freedom of speech. But simply stopping to be thankful for what we have is missing the point of Veteran’s Day.
The reality is, we are an interconnected fabric of life, and many of us our suffering. Many veterans return from service changed forever. Many members of the military literally give life, limb, sight, or hearing. Other scars are less visible as thousands return with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that they and their families may have to manage over a lifetime. It might seem impossible to figure out how to show an immeasurable gratitude for their willingness to sacrifice themselves, but there are some organizations that are dedicated to commemoration and support of our veterans.
How can you be a part of something bigger than you while showing respect and admiration for the men and women who risk or have given their lives for your freedoms? Here are a few ways…
- Coming Home Project – Assists veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan by improving the psychological, emotional, spiritual, and relationship challenges they face. They help build connections with other vets, community, and family members.
- Homes for Our Troops – Help severely injured military members and their families build homes so they can live more independently by collecting donations, building materials, and coordinating professional labor.
- Veterans History Project – The Library of Congress is looking to record soliders’ tales from the war to help future generations understand the realities of war straight from veterans.
- Canine Companions for Independence – Volunteers or puppy-raisers help take care of puppies, preparing them to assist veterans with disabilities.
- Disabled American Veterans – Volunteers provide free rides to and from veterans’ medical facilities and help improve the care and morale of sick and disabled veterans.
Care Packages for Veterans
- The Hugs Project – This project is all volunteer-based. Supporters can send Marines and National Guard members in Afghanistan care packages with snacks, hygiene items, socks, and many other items (check the full list on the website).
- Soldiers’ Angels – Provides aid and comfort to men and women of U.S Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families. Volunteers can “adopt” a deployed service member and send supplies and letters to them.
- Veteran Central – This site coordinates businesses and organizations that help returning veterans locate resources, programs, and job opportunities.
- Hire A Hero – A job resource site for veterans.
Other ways to help? Well, if you’re a hiring manager or the head of an organization, you can start by hiring the nearly 11% of unemployed veterans that have come home. Follow the lead of companies like GE, CSX and Southern Company that made the G.I. Jobs list of 100 best companies for veterans.
If you do nothing else, acknowledge their sacrifices. I extend my infinite thanks for veterans and their families for surrendering themselves to a higher love, and bow to the volunteers who dedicate their lives to making veterans lives better.
Thank you thank you thank you.
– Your Charmed Yogi
Related post: Why we remember 9/11