Revolutionary advances in field trauma care have greatly increased the survivability of once fatal battlefield injuries. But now our wounded warriors and their families face complex challenges during what can be their lengthy recovery and transition period. Their physical and mental health care needs are unique, and navigating the process of long-term, specialized care can be overwhelming.
Severely wounded service members will never be able to go back to the lives they once knew. They often face an extended healing process, and frightening uncertainties about their injuries and long-term prognosis. In order to get the care they need, wounded warriors and their caregivers may be uprooted from their communities to relocate far from family and friends, making it difficult to build a new support network. As with anyone facing a crisis, they need help with everyday activities: rides to appointments, assistance with in-home care, meals, and child care. Once home, they need more: mentorship to determine how best to rejoin the workforce or attain higher education goal, assistance with errands, or just someone to listen.
These service members and their families are struggling courageously. They should not have to manage alone. Many organizations are making a valiant effort to address their needs. Please review the links below to discover ways you can help. Your caring support can make the difference today and for many years to come.
This foundation currently has seven programs serving defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need. R.I.S.E. provides adaptive homes and vehicles, wheel/track chairs; Lt. Dan Band lifts morale for service members at home and abroad; Resiliency + Relief Outreach is for those recovering from trauma and in urgent need; Invincible Spirit Festivals are family celebrations held at military medical hospitals; the Ambassadors Council raises awareness; Serving Heroes feeds service members in transit at major airports. The foundation supports numerous charities as well.
Fisher House has a network of homes on the grounds of military and VA hospitals around the country to help family members be close to a loved one during hospitalization for a combat injury, illness or disease. In their Hero Miles Program you can donate frequent flier miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members. You can also volunteer or donate household items.
The foundation awards “life scholarships” to severely wounded post-9/11 veterans attending universities or trade/professional schools. Scholarships tailored to the needs of individual veterans may provide housing, mentoring, financial planning or career networking. Join a mentoring team, or donate vehicles or household items to support a Sentinel in your area.
Housing presents special challenges for disabled veterans who require wheelchair accessibility or other adaptive measures. HFOT builds new mortgage-free homes for disabled veterans so that they, in turn, can build new lives. Help HFOT as a fundraising volunteer or building partner, or run a full or half-marathon with Team HFOT.
The goal of this nationwide organization is to help heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by pairing them with a specially selected shelter animal. The animals are rehabilitated by professionals who can include training for desensitization to wheel chairs or crutches as well as recognizing panic or anxiety disorder behaviors. You can volunteer to support the organization in a variety of ways, including short and long term pet fostering.
There are so many more organizations helping the wounded that need financial assistance instead of volunteer hours. If you don’t have the gift of time to give, you can support those who have dedicated their lives to helping those who’ve served and sacrificed.