TROOPS AND VETERANS
America’s active-duty military, including guard and reserve units, number roughly one million strong. Combined with the more than 23 million living U.S. veterans and their families, they comprise tens of millions of fellow Americans who deserve our gratitude and need our support.
In addition to the help provided by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, numerous organizations exist to assist the active-duty military, veterans and their families. Many of these offer a broad spectrum of services and others focus on specialized areas of need. Some of these valuable providers need volunteer support while others are best supported with financial contributions. The most important choice is to get involved and be engaged and to support the U.S. military community that has sacrificed so much.
Please review the wide range of support and service organizations listed below, and reach out to see how you can take action to assist our active duty military, veterans and their families in solving the unique challenges they face. As a simple –- yet powerful –- starting point, take a moment to say hello to the uniformed service members and veterans that you meet, and thank them for their service. They will appreciate it, more than you may know.
CORONAVIRUS SUPPORT (COVID-19)
This resource is a gateway for providing grants to first responders in need of personal protective equipment when answering COVID-19 service calls. Financial assistance is also available to healthcare professionals, service members, veterans, first responders, and their families who have been impacted by the novel coronavirus.
THE MILITARY AND VETERANS CRISIS LINE
Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for veterans in crisis and their families and friends.
If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of emotional distress, including thoughts of suicide, immediate help is available by calling 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1). Confidential help is also available in a chat online, or by sending a text message to 838255.
With over 200 events a year, Blue Star Families is always in need of passionate volunteers. Blue Star Families’ wide range of programs include career development for military spouses, fun and educational events for children, caregiver support, and most importantly, the chance to build community with their Blue Star Neighbors — individuals, business owners and organizations who create a network of support for military families. Learn more about different volunteer positions that are currently available.
The Air Force Aid Society has been helping Airmen since 1942. They provide emergency financial assistance with no-interest loans and/or grants, education support through grants, loans and scholarships, and community programs to help families while their loved ones are deployed.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society raises funds to highlight the true meaning behind the Medal and the courage, sacrifice, patriotism, citizenship, integrity, and commitment of it’s recipients through programs of awareness, education, behavior, and examples.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has many ways to volunteer time or donate funds to help our nation’s veterans including the Volunteer Transportation Network, Welcome Home Events, Stand Down for Homeless Veterans, National Cemeteries Volunteer, National Salute to Veteran Patients and Student Volunteer Program initiatives.
America’s Warrior Partnership is committed to empowering communities to empower veterans. We fill the gaps that exist between current veteran service organizations by helping nonprofits connect with the veterans, military members and families in need: bolstering their efficacy, improving their results and empowering their initiatives. America’s Warrior Partnership is a force multiplier for warrior community integration that enhances communities where great Americans choose to live and contribute.
Conducting complex and dangerous frontline combat missions around the world, United States Special Operations Forces develop high-level skills in leadership team building, problem solving and negotiation. Yet veterans face difficulty transitioning these skills in a corporate work environment. YGN provides mentoring and career placement programs to take these veterans “from the battlefield to the boardroom.”
Help by becoming a YGN mentor or business partner.
The Army Emergency Relief was founded in 1942 by Secretary of War Henry Stimson and Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall. The Army’s non-profit organization, AER, provides soldiers with zero-interest loans, grants, and educational scholarships, and ensures that no soldier is left behind during times of financial hardships.
This organization seeks to lift morale by sending individually addressed letters and care packages to deployed service members, veterans. Developed by veterans, Hirepurpose helps former servicemen and women transition from the military to civilian careers in the private and public sectors with an eye for matching the right talent with the right opportunity.
Launched in 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Hiring our Heroes Initiative provides veterans, transitioning military members and military spouses with the tools and resources needed to find work in the job market and connects them with civilian companies to create employment opportunities.
DAV builds better lives for America’s disabled veterans through their benefits assistance and voluntary service programs. You can volunteer to drive a van for the initiative that provides free transportation to men and women who can’t travel to VA medical facilities on their own.
The Yellow Ribbon Fund provides the programs that make daily life more manageable for the wounded and their family caregivers as they recover from injuries sustained in service. Among their many programs, the Yellow Ribbon Fund provides families of the wounded with hotel rooms and apartments, cab rides to and from the hospital, therapeutic massages to ease stress and a wide range of social events.
Started in 1941, the United Service Organization (USO) has been keeping service members connected with family, home and country by entertaining them, providing a place of comfort through its more than 250 centers extending to countries on every continent and by always conveying the support of a grateful nation.