Unlike other world powers, the United States does not require its citizens to render mandatory military service. Still, despite the abolition on conscription in 1973, thousands of brave Americans enlist each year to protect and serve the country. War can come at a hefty cost though, and many come home physically, mentally and emotionally battered as they struggle to reintegrate into society once their tour of duty ends.
Fortunately, there are many ways civilians can help these men and women, and Forbes.com suggests an important way to do so:
“Offer a Veteran an Internship at your Business
Many veterans returning from active duty military service struggle to fit into society and the workforce. Often the skills and experience on their resume simply don’t match what entrepreneurs post on their job boards. For this reason, many veterans struggle to find employment. And the longer it takes for them to return to the workforce, the more likely they will remain unemployed long term.
Take a chance. Give a veteran a 30-day internship. They may just surprise you and become the long term, valuable employee your business may need.”
As the article states, veterans deserve the chance to thrive after their military career, and welcoming them to the workforce helps them achieve this. What are other ways you can help veterans?
Write Your Congressman
Veterans need help readjusting to civilian life, especially if they were injured in combat or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Ask your congressman to sponsor bills that make the transition easier, like laws that increase disability benefits or provide employment.
Volunteer at Your Local VA Hospital
While injured soldiers can get free treatment in VA hospitals, these are often too far away for their relatives to visit, so they are forced to recuperate without loved ones at their side. Inspire their rehabilitation by volunteering yourself at your town or city’s VA hospital—bring them food, listen to their stories and reassure them that they haven’t been forgotten.
Support Nonprofit Fundraising Programs
The eBay Giving Works program allows people to sell items online and give part or all of the proceeds to organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization that aids injured soldiers get back on their feet.
If you have nothing to sell, consider buying items with the Giving Works logo so a portion of your payment gets donated to Wounded Warrior Project, or other military causes. This nonprofit fundraising program also allows you to donate directly to your chosen charity via PayPal.
(Article Information and Image from 11 Tangible Ways Entrepreneurs Can Help Veterans, Forbes.com, November 11, 2013)