Veterans of the Armed Forces often face many difficulties, whether they served decades ago or in the recent past. If you have a veteran in your life, supporting them is essential. Showing extra care and support is vital, especially in the months after returning home from active duty.
Still, even years after they serve in the Armed Forces, they may face emotional, physical, mental, or even societal challenges. If your friend or family member is a veteran, you likely want to help them in any way you can.
Depending on how close you are to them, you will want to make adjustments to how you show support.
Here are five ways you can support the veteran in your life.
Encourage Them to Get Any Necessary Medical Care
Many veterans are wounded during combat or due to accidents while training. Even those who don’t have physical injuries may deal with mental health struggles, either from things they witnessed or from being far from family and friends for so long. While VA hospitals and other services are there to assist them, going through the process can be difficult.
Also, many veterans may have underlying health problems they don’t realize, especially if they were in the military in the past. Issues such as PTSD and mesothelioma can impact veterans of all ages and ranks.
Some veterans may also hesitate to reach out or seek the necessary medical care because they don’t want to look weak. However, you can show your support and remind them that they gave their time and put their bodies on the line to serve their country; they deserve to feel comfortable.
Vocally Show Your Support
Regardless of your political views, you can still show support to veterans. Whether you agree with the broader reasons for different wars or circumstances, most members of the Armed Forces Are doing their best, and many end up in difficult situations they didn’t anticipate.
If someone you love has served, you can show your support by speaking up online. You can also do what you can to promote awareness of issues veterans face. You could even consider donating to groups that provide material support to veterans and their loved ones.
Offer Acts of Service to Wounded Veterans
If the veteran in your life is facing medical issues or disabilities because of their time in the Armed Forces, they may need extra assistance with their daily life. While you don’t want to make them feel disrespected, you can find ways to support their needs. Maybe they need transportation to and from their medical appointments. Or, perhaps, they need help with household chores or yard work.
According to the National Veterans Foundation, it’s essential to do more than just show thanks or offer words of gratitude. While this is also useful, you can show them a lot more actual support by volunteering to help with their tasks.
Remember to Ask How You Can Help
While there are some general tips you can follow to support veterans in your life, every person is different. It’s also best to ask how you can express your thanks and help them than it is to assume. Asking them what they need goes a long way, and they will appreciate that you took the time to figure out what works best for them.