There are about 18 million veterans living in the United States today. Chances are, there are more than a few in your community. Many veterans could benefit from help from their neighbors with various life circumstances and decisions, no matter the age. And you have the opportunity to contribute to the betterment of their lives! Today, the National Association of American Veterans shares some practical insight into how you can help veterans in your community lead a higher quality of life.
Help Them Earn a Degree
Veterans have many advantages when it comes to going back to school. But that doesn’t mean some won’t experience challenges connecting with the right university. Research accredited online colleges and help a veteran in your community enroll in a degree program that will provide them with the flexibility they need to study at their own pace, work full-time, and manage all their responsibilities. Today, you can find a degree program in almost any industry. For instance, you could take up a teacher certification to pursue a career in teaching!
If you have befriended a veteran with a knack for business and great ideas, why not show them the ropes of starting a business? You could connect them with local, state, and federal resources, including funding and mentoring.
Suppose you know the essentials of conducting market research, writing a business plan, choosing the proper legal structure, and developing a marketing strategy. In that case, you could walk the veteran through the steps and help them build a firm foundation for a flourishing company.
It is common for veterans to experience homelessness, especially if they do not have a family to return to. If you’re familiar with rentals in the area, help them to find something within their budget. Or if they’re interested in something more permanent, guide them towards VA loans that can allow them to purchase a home with lessened fees and no down payment.
Many veterans withdraw from society and fail to keep up with loved ones, not because they want to but because they simply don’t know how to stay connected. Technology has made it easier than ever to interact with friends and family from afar.
Show a veteran in your community how to use a video chat app (e.g., FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.). That way, they can have meaningful conversations and see the people they talk to.
Finally, research the many veteran resources available today that could improve the lives of veterans in your community. For example, the Veterans Arts and Wellness Channel is a new Roku channel that runs online 24/7.
The Veterans Arts and Wellness Network has recently launched a fundraising campaign for a show that is the first of its kind: a situational comedy based on a group of veterans. The show will be titled Transition Condition Incorporated, and the pilot will air on the Veterans Arts and Wellness Channel in October 2022.
There are several purposes behind these broadcasts:
Provide valuable information about various treatments and VA services.
Give referrals to veterans and their family members services and videos that offer counseling from professional therapists (which will run 24 hours a day).
Capture the attention of as many veterans as possible and provide them with the opportunity to laugh and enjoy life moments.
Moreover, explain to your veteran neighbor that the VSP Channel is always available on the VA Computer Network. The VA restricts the content employees and veterans can access on their computers, but every computer in the VA can access the channel.
No matter where you live, there are veterans in your community who need help, and you can start making a positive impact in their lives today. Consider the tips above as you think of how to make a difference. And don’t be surprised if you feel a sense of meaning and purpose added to your own life!
The National Association of American Veterans is proud to provide many great resources and support for veterans. Visit us online to learn more about how you can help our veterans re-enter civilian life.
Sharon Redd, NAAV Volunteer Contributor; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.