We all benefit from the sacrifice of veterans, service members, and their families. They offer themselves in protection for our country’s freedom and values, and through their sacrifice, we are allowed to pursue our hopes and dreams.
In exchange for all they do and all they have done, there are a few things we can do for them that might seem small, but they can also be meaningful and important.
Assist Your Local Senior
Veterans are usually entitled to health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs, and while most of them are well aware of that fact, there are challenges involved in getting the help they need. As NPR explains, many veterans are unaware of the benefits available through the VA system, and the application to access those benefits can be difficult for them to complete.
Like many things these days, veterans can apply for benefits online, but many seniors are intimidated by the internet. Why not help a veteran you know through the enrollment process? You can head to the Veterans Affairs official website to get started. However, if you have any trouble, Cariloop offers additional information.
Along those same lines, many veterans don’t realize they are entitled to Medicare. The New York Daily News explains that veterans age 65 should enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, which will broaden the medical facilities where they have coverage.
There can still be a number of out-of-pocket expenses, particularly if there is an emergency and they are taken to the closest hospital rather than a VA hospital. To control that expense, a Medigap plan can help. In particular, Plans F and G provide more coverage than other Medigap options. Note that if the Part B deductible is a concern, Plan F will pay it, while Plan G will not.
Exercise Your Skills
You might not know an older veteran, or maybe you’re interested in providing a different kind of help. There are plenty of opportunities to explore in other areas, and there are veterans, military personnel, and their families with needs. Think about your skillset, and as the Huffington Post notes, chances are there is a place you could volunteer.
For example, there are groups that build homes for families on military campuses, organizations that train veterans for jobs, and people who arrange events and entertainment for those on active duty. There is even an organization called Pets for Vets that pairs veterans with shelter pets — it’s a great way to combine interests if you’re also passionate about helping animals.
Hire a Vet
If you’re an employer or know someone in a position to hire, you can help veterans in a unique manner. Veterans have much to offer employers. They are often educated, detail-oriented, highly-skilled, used to following through, and are hard workers. On top of all that, there are tax incentives available to employers who hire veterans. If you aren’t sure how to get started, consider contacting an organization that connects employers with veterans looking for work.
Similarly, military spouses can struggle to find employment. Because of frequent moves, many employers are reluctant to hire them. On top of that, those who need state certifications, such as beauticians, veterinary technicians, and social workers, often need to revisit the certification process following a move, delaying their employment — if they can find employment at all. Add a military spouse to your staff and you can reap the rewards of helping a family in need.
If you know a military spouse seeking employment and aren’t in a position to help directly, consider pointing your friend toward an employer known for hiring military spouses.
There are plenty of opportunities to help those who serve or have served our country. Consider helping a veteran, someone in the military, or their family members. Whether you connect through an organization or one-on-one, your efforts are sure to be appreciated.