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Serving in the military isn’t an easy job, and choosing to defend your country and its people is both a courageous and noble thing to do. Veterans do deserve respect and gratitude for their service, but it’s not uncommon for many to find adjusting back to civilian life difficult, or they might not have access to the support that they need later in life. This is why it is important to think about how you can help the veterans in your local community, and if this is something that matters to you, here are some suggestions on how you can do this.
Consider Organizing a Social Group for Them
Veterans will have unique experiences from their time in the military, and other civilians may not share this understanding with them. While that might not be a problem for some, other veterans might find comfort in spending time with individuals who understand their experiences and can bond with them over this. Feeling isolated or disconnected is something that can happen at any age, but it may be more prevalent in senior veterans whose partners or friends have passed away. This is where organizing a social group for local veterans could be a good idea, providing a safe space for them to come together with other people they have something in common with, and can make new connections in their local community.
Offer to Help Them Out
If you do have a veteran who is a neighbor, another way you express your gratitude for their service is by offering to help them out. This can be particularly useful for older veterans who might need additional support with things like grocery shopping, DIY jobs around the house, or even something as simple as moving their lawn for them. If you’re comfortable doing so, you could even invite them over for a coffee in the morning or afternoon and spend some time getting to know them better. This could be a wonderful way to help them feel seen and appreciated, especially if they live alone.
Donate to Charities That Support Veterans
Another option you can get involved in if you want to help veterans in your local community, and further afield, is to donate to charities that aim to support veterans, like the American Red Cross. These donations can go to help train volunteers, organize events, get food out to veterans in need, as well as a range of other important services that will benefit them. You may even be interested in volunteering with these charities yourself to work directly with the veteran community.
Organize an Event to Celebrate Their Service
Arranging a regular social club for veterans in your local community is a great idea, but you could also think about organizing a special event to celebrate their service that other people in your town can attend, too. This is a great way to say thank you to the local veterans, and it could even be used as a fundraising event for a veteran charity if you wanted it to be. Either way, it’s an opportunity for everyone in your local area to show their appreciation and gratitude to all the veterans in town and let them know that they are seen.
If you want to do more to support the veterans in your community, think about the options listed above and see which ones you would like to get involved in.