It’s Veterans Day: What You Can Do To Give Back
On this Veterans Day and beyond, Blue Élan Records celebrates all those who have served and continue to serve. Giving to our service members, veterans, and their families, is a gift of gratitude in which we can all take part. Keep reading for a special message from Mustangs of the West‘s Holly Montgomery, and for ways you can support veterans, military members and their families on Veterans Day and beyond. To all those who have served, and continue to serve — Happy Veterans Day!
- Check out the VA Voluntary Service to identify volunteer opportunities at local VA offices near you.
- You can also join the Volunteer Transportation Network to help veterans get to appointments at VA medical facilities.
- Find more ways to help veterans and their families on VolunteerMatch.
Support Veterans Suffering from PTSD
Coping with post-traumatic stress disorder can put stress on not just veterans but also their families and friends. More than a third of all veterans have or will experience PTSD. If you know a veteran who might be dealing with PTSD, you can connect them with helpful resources.
- The VA offers the PTSD Coach Online to help veterans learn to manage symptoms, come up with ways to cope and find professional help.
- The National Center for PTSD provides a Veterans Crisis Line by phone at 1-800-273-8255, by text at 838255 and by online chat at this link: Confidential Veterans Chat.
Help Veterans on the Streets
A phone call can also make a difference in the life of a veteran who is homeless or at risk of
- Call 877-4AID-VET, or 877-424-3838, to connect with help at The Department of Veterans Affairs. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Stand Down program is designed to help homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets. Stand Downs are usually one- to three-day events that provide food, shelter, clothing and health screenings to homeless and unemployed veterans. To find a Stand Down program in your community, contact your local VA hospital.
Help Veterans and Military Spouses with Their Careers
Every member of military families can benefit from your support. You can volunteer to be a career mentor for discharged veterans and military spouses.
- Contact the Armed Services YMCA to serve military families in your area.
- Along with helping with careers, the Armed Services YMCA offers a program for children in military families called Operation Hero – an after-school program that is designed to help children (ages 6-12) improve their academic performances, as well as their social intelligence.
Learn More About National Nonprofits
There are several reputable nonprofits that serve veterans and military families around the nation. Educating yourself about these nonprofits is a way to show your appreciation for what they do and for those who serve our country. Explore the following list of amazing nonprofits and see what you can do to help by way of volunteering or supporting in other ways.
- Blue Star Families strengthens military families through career development, caregiving, and research on military life.
- The Semper Fi Fund provides urgently needed resources and lifetime support for wounded, critically ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.
- Disabled American Veterans (DAV) provides a lifetime of support for veterans or all generations and their families in positive, life-changing ways.
- The National Military Family Association provides spouse scholarships, camps for military kids and retreats for families reconnecting after deployment and for the families of the wounded, ill or injured.
- Vets4Warriors is a national nonprofit that provides a live, 24/7 peer support network that any veteran, service member, caregiver or family member can contact for confidential conversations and trusted solutions to physical, mental or social challenges before those challenges turn into crises.
- Mission Roll Call is a movement that is providing veterans with a powerful, unified voice that is heard by our nation’s leaders and communities.
- Wounded Warriors Project provides interactive programs, rehabilitation retreats, and free mental health counseling. Mental health problems such as PTSD and TBI are properly addressed through WWP’s outpatient care and therapy sessions.
- Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military & veteran families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital. These homes are located at military and VA medical centers around the world.