Looking for ways to give back to the Veterans and servicemen and women in your community, as well as their families? Meaningful contributions to those in need always plays a role in personal growth, and this is a population often in need of love and compassion. You can open your heart, and make a difference in their lives, by doing one of these many thoughtful things. Military Missions in Action invites you to keep reading to learn more!
A Path to Better Health
When it comes to caring for our veterans, seniors are the ones who often end up falling through the cracks. Nearly half of seniors who are 75 or older are Veterans of the Armed Forces, and many of these Veterans are facing service-related illnesses that can put a dent in their retirement funds. Some of these older Veterans don’t know how to access Medicare alongside their VA medical benefits, as figuring out the complexities of each system can be very challenging.
Trying to navigate Medicare and VA benefits at once may seem impossible, especially since these two government agencies don’t coordinate patient care or administrative tasks. If you know a senior Veteran struggling to make heads or tails of their health benefits, sit down to help them to figure it out. You can help them determine if there are any benefits to signing up for Medicare along with their VA health coverage.
Safety and Comfort at Home
Most homes are not designed to support people with disabilities, and many senior and disabled Veterans struggle in a traditional housing structure. There are plenty of ways to modify a home to accommodate personal needs, but the funds and know-how aren’t always available. Point the Veteran you know towards the many programs that can help with home modifications that can increase comfort and safety, including MMIA's Operation Building Hope.
Sometimes Veterans are searching for a different kind of housing solution. Those looking to buy or refinance a home can explore VA home loans. These highly affordable loans are backed by the government and offered through a number of lenders. Other options designed for Veterans, such as 30-year fixed rate mortgages, require zero down payment or mortgage insurance. Connect the Veteran in your life with information on rates and other options to ensure they have the situation that meets their needs.
Feel Less Alone
If you are connected to active-duty service members, rather than senior Veterans, you may be wondering how to best express care and compassion for their challenges. What challenges are those? A 2018 study found that being an enlisted military member consistently ranks as the most stressful job in America. In addition to normal career stress, men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces are also faced with the difficulty of being separated from friends and loved ones.
Since love and connection are so essential to the health and welfare of the soul, missing out on this can lead to anxiety and depression for those who are serving. Showing your own love and support can bring some comfort. If you live near an active duty service member who is away from family, you can show this compassion with something as simple as a standing invitation to attend religious services with you or even inviting him/her over to your home during the holidays when loneliness can feel worse.
You Can Help Veterans and Military Members You Don’t Even Know
Perhaps you don’t know any Veterans or active-duty service members you can reach out to with an act of kindness. Still, it’s natural to want to help the members of this community, even when you aren’t directly connected to them. If you want to touch the life of a Veteran, the simplest way to do so is with a monetary donation. For example, homelessness is a common issue among U.S. Veterans and there are several organizations you can support.
Care packages are also a great way to show support for active-duty men and women, and you can easily send one via organizations like Military Missions In Action, Project Thank You, or Silver Star Families of America.
For families, affording food can be a challenge, and you can help military families who are struggling by organizing a food drive at your local food bank or community center, or volunteering with an existing one.
Active duty personnel, Veterans, and their families all face unique struggles in their life every single day. From dealing with traumatic memories to dealing with stressful separations, it’s never an easy life to live. You can show your support for them all with your donations, with your time and most of all, with your compassion and kindness.
Photo Credit: Pixabay