This post was originally published in February of 2015, but given that November 11th, this past Saturday was Veterans’ day I thought this should be reposted. The tragedy of suicides among veterans needs to be alleviated by the action of many.
There was a very sad case in the news the other day. A female veteran killed herself and her three young children. I am saddened when I read such a story. Perhaps she might have been helped by one of these resources that are described in this post from my friends at SocialMonsters.org. Perhaps by reading this, you might get someone the help they need.
According to the United States Census Bureau, there are more than 21.8 million veterans in the United States. Meanwhile, 22 million veterans are registered with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and $57 billion in disability benefits was spent on 633,000 veterans. The U.S. spends serious money on its military across training, education, and rehabilitation. But where can veterans and their families turn beyond the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and get help for everything from health care to financial assistance? Here are some resources to get started.
The unemployment rate for veterans is up over 10 percent and climbing. With returning veterans looking for work, more services are needed than ever before to help them re-assimilate into the workforce and find stable employment. Hire Heroes helps create job opportunities for veterans through personalized employment training and corporate engagement. Veterans can get help with résumés, developing a strategic plan for their career, identifying available veteran benefits, and learning effective job search and interviewing techniques.
Blue Star Moms
Blue Star Mothers of America represents the mothers, stepmothers, foster moms, and any woman who cares for those who serve in the military. With more than 6,000 members in 200 chapters across the United States, the organization helps raise donations for care packages. They’ve also sent more than 130,000 letters to the Armed Forces and held events to help honor their Gold Star Members. Local chapters also help support their members going through difficult transitions with their military children. All Blue Star Mothers of America are non-political and non-partisan to support families and veterans from all backgrounds.
Every minute, 19 people fall victim to identity theft. It’s currently the fastest growing crime in America with no signs of slowing down. Veterans are especially vulnerable to such identity theft with Social Security numbers and personal information used to rack up credit card debt and ruin your finances. The Veterans of Foreign War offer a discounted LifeLock service to veterans to help identify criminal activity and ensure personal and financial information is safe. They can help alert when they detect fraudulent charges and cancel and replace credit cards and other stolen items.
Homes for Our Troops
Many disabled veterans returning from war find they can no longer live in their home without assistance and special adaptations. Homes for Our Troops helps build mortgage-free homes across the country for severely injured veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. The homes are specially adapted to meet the needs of multiple-amputees, paralysis or traumatic brain injury. The homes help the veterans focus on recovery and help their families care for them in a home that is adapted to their needs.
Veterans Family United
Although there are numerous resources for veterans, they’re not always readily available and it’s difficult to know where to turn. Veterans’ Family United was launched by a mother whose son returned from Iraq with undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The organization is completely run by unpaid volunteers and helps organize tools for the health, education, and empowerment of both veterans and families.
Some 43 percent of veterans reported having a traumatic brain injury. Wounded Warriors Family Support helps families of veterans who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat. The organization helps those with Purple Hearts or disabilities including blindness or loss of vision, severe burns, paralysis, traumatic brain injury, and also those who have dependent children. Families can get financial assistance and resources to help navigate the wounded veteran process and get back on their feet.