Supporting veterans is so important and often lacking in citizen morale in the United States. In these troubled times, Americans need to be drawn together to champion common issues. Sometimes, whether you truly agree or truly understand, it’s more meaningful to just stand together and believe in something. Like the popular mantra, tis better to give than to receive, this helps everyone, emotionally.
Our country has gone through more than a few ups and downs when it comes to societal treatment of the troops, whether overseas in combat or here in the states. Extending this support is something that flows in ripples throughout a community, lifting the military families and filling civilians with pride in their acts and a sense of stability for their nation.
It isn’t hard to pull the community together in support of military neighbors. These few suggestions involve low expense and high rewards.
- Neighborhood Cookouts on Patriotic Holidays ~ This is a great way to both honor veterans and include the entire community. Everyone celebrates Independence Day and Memorial Day and similar holidays. Everyone loves to eat and laugh and share time together. Implementing a military theme and extending special invites to the families in your area is a small act that goes a long way.
- Reaching Out to Military Spouses During Deployment ~ Small gestures like a hot meal or a cup of coffee and conversation can mean a great deal to a spouse feeling alone in a new place. Spouses are suddenly parenting alone, managing the household and missing their confidante. Just having that other person to talk to is a meaningful part of someone’s day when that person is suddenly gone for a long period of time. This is all compounded by worry. Their spouse is not just gone, but likely in danger.
- Being Sensitive to Military Children ~ Sons and daughters missing their serving parent can display this loneliness in many ways, including misbehaving or acting out. Try and think of this before passing judgment. Their parent is not just gone, but it’s likely they don’t understand the absence or the potential risk.
- Anonymous Care Packages to Deployed Veterans ~ Those who may not have a lot of family at home will appreciate your surprise packages, which don’t need to contain anything special or expensive. These types of acts can truly affect a person’s time away and how they feel during those long months.
- ‘Adopting’ Disabled Veterans ~ Much like a big brother or sister, we can reach out and make a disabled veteran one of our own. There are so many lonely people who need only reach out to one another to find family. Discover a new parent or grandparent, in the heart of a veteran.
Check out these links on how different communities have found creative ways to reach out and support their military families.
- http://www.horsesforheroes.org/#2835 – Read about this organization using equine therapy to both lift up active duty families and treat returning soldiers suffering from PTSD. These animals have a way of touching those in need without words.
- http://www.extension.umn.edu/family/supporting-military-families/docs/OMK_LC_handout.pdf – See how this Minnesota University laid the ground work for a lasting connection between military families and their communities.
- http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Other-Resources/Family-and-Community-Engagement/Supporting-Ohio-s-Military-Families – The Ohio Department of Education has made it their mission to bring civilians and military families together.
Extending your support to the veterans and military families in your community isn’t just easy, but it also benefits you and your family as much as those you are reaching out to. You may not be a military family, but you could easily fall into a situation where you would benefit from the help of others. Imagine this experience and just think of what would provide some relief for you and your family. Contact us for advice on personal and legal struggles for the veterans in our communities.