Show Your Appreciation To Veterans By Paying Forward The High Cost Of Their Heroism And Sacrifices
Veterans Day is November 11. Do you know the high cost of veterans’ heroism and how to pay it forward? Pegasus home health care professionals in Agoura and elsewhere urge you to recognize the sacrifices made to defend our country.
A veteran is “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.” Veterans include those who served during peacetime as well as those who experienced combat.
For many people, heroism is one of those “I’ll know it when I see it” situations. Psychologists don’t have a hard and fast definition of what makes a hero. They do tend to agree that heroes engage in unselfish actions that include personal sacrifice or put their lives at risk.
However heroism is defined, veterans are heroes, and their actions come at a high cost to them. The draft ended in 1973, and members of the military volunteer to serve. The sacrifices made by all members of the armed forces exact a toll on their lives.
All veterans sacrifice time that could have been spent with friends and family. They give up what most individuals consider a normal life. They often lose out on career and educational opportunities.
They don’t have to be in combat to make sacrifices or risk their lives. Defense in peacetime is based on deterrence and readiness. During times of peace, military personnel still undergo rigorous training, which sometimes results in fatal accidents.
Veterans that survive combat come home with physical, emotional, and spiritual wounds. Some never recover from their injuries. Many find it difficult to integrate into civilian life.
Although their military training gives veterans work skills, not all are able to find suitable employment. Some end up homeless. Others struggle with substance abuse.
What Can You Do?
Most 2020 Veterans Day events are curtailed due to pandemic restrictions. You probably won’t be able to attend an in-person ceremony. However, you can fly an American flag or display a sign that says thank you.
You may be able to participate in on-line ceremonies that honor veterans. Ask your church, on-line group, or organization to put you in touch with a veteran. If a family member has served, make it a point to include them.
Whether family or a stranger, let a veteran know that they aren’t forgotten. Communicate with them via the internet, correspondence, or phone. Let them know that you care.
Listen to their stories. Ask them questions. If you’re unsure or afraid of saying the wrong thing, check out these tips.
Honoring a veteran is more than a one-day activity. Most don’t need you to “take care” of them. What you can offer are the tools they need to take care of themselves.
For example, sometimes transportation is all that keeps an individual from a job. Can you give them a book of bus or train tickets? Or perhaps arrange for an Uber or Lyft service?
Show Your Appreciation
Operation We Are Here specializes in supporting veterans and their families with cards and letters. They make it easy to express your appreciation to a veteran.
They also have a lengthy list of resources for veterans and their families. A sampling includes:
- Care packages
- Hospital support
- Humanitarian aid
- Social media
- Travel assistance
There’s probably at least one item for which you can contribute time, expertise, or other assistance to show your appreciation.
You may have frequent flyer miles that you’re unable to use. Donate those miles through the Hero Miles Program. Veterans and their families can use them to travel for medical care or other essential needs.
If you’re in a position to do so, hire a veteran. Otherwise, shop at veteran-owned businesses when possible. You can obtain a listing specific to California here or by calling (877) 862-5478.
Provide veterans with special discount coupons for food, entertainment, and services. Encourage businesses to offer discounts to veterans.
Make A Financial Contribution
Under normal conditions, you can find plenty of volunteer opportunities. The pandemic restrictions have made hands-on opportunities scarce. Even if you can’t assist a veteran personally, you can still pay your appreciation forward with financial help.
For example, reliable internet access is essential, especially for families with children. Can you pay the cost of monthly service for a veteran? Check here for a list of organizations that provide assistance for families of veterans and make a donation.
Other organizations focus on individual veterans, often those who have disabling injuries. All are worthy of your financial support. These include, but are not limited to:
You will find more organizations for wounded service members, social services, and family support at Charity Navigator.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. We salute all veterans and offer our appreciation for the sacrifices they have made to protect our freedom. Our home health care services in Agoura and our other locations can meet the unique needs of our veterans.