After 9/11, my husband, Art, was recalled two different times to active duty in the Air Force. It was quite a strain on our family financially, but we were very lucky that he was never deployed near a combat zone. One of the most helpful things, for us, was the community at Travis AFB who helped us with any questions or problems we had.
But what about after? What happens when the servicemember retires or leaves the service? What about elderly veterans? How do we help veterans of Afghanistan or Iraq? What organizations are helping veterans and how can we help?
Donate Your Time:
Just a few miles from our house is one of our state’s veterans homes. Attached to the veteran’s home is The Pathway Home, a residential recovery home, dedicated to helping veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq and other recent conflicts to transition back to civilian life.
Some of the ways you can help at a veteran’s home or recovery home are to:
- read to or talk with the veterans
- teach a class in a craft, skill, hobby or sport with which you have experience.
- help to organize or assist with holiday parties
You can google “veteran’s homes” to find the veteran’s care facility nearest you.
You can also donate your time at a local veteran’s hospital or clinic. Opportunities here can involve escorting a wheelchair veteran to their appointment and assisting in checking in veterans for their appointments.
Or you can volunteer at a nearby Fisher House. Fisher House Foundation donates “comfort homes,” built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times – during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury. Volunteers can help with a variety of jobs such as making beds, arranging flowers, organizing the refrigerator and unloading the dishwasher.
Donate Your Unwanted Items:
- sports equipment
- event tickets
- frequent flyer miles to the Fisher House Foundation
- gently used items or vehicles for resell by local veteran’s organizations
Donate Your Money To:
- other reputable veteran’s organizations.