People all over America want to give back to the veterans responsible for their freedoms. Perhaps no one knows better about how to help than fellow vets. Veterans also enjoy the connection to other vets when giving back.
There are many ways to help vets through such programs as the Disabled American Veterans and the Wounded Warrior Project. Vets are unique in that they know what other veterans may need at home.
They can help veterans just by being there or giving back in a variety of ways. Simply getting involved in certain programs or organizations for their own benefit can help other vets.
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Here are six ways veterans can give back to their fellow vets:
1. Online education programs — Many vets return home to advance their education. There are many online education programs that encourage connecting with other veterans and sharing experiences, according to U.S. News. Find other vets by reading their introductions available to classmates or through class discussion boards where they might mention their military service.
2. Vets Prevail — Soldiers returning home can connect with their peers to ease their transition to life after leaving the service. Vets Prevail is an online mental health tool to deal with readjustment challenges by chatting with other vets or getting information about their thoughts and feelings.
3. Support veterans’ groups — Vets can join or support organizations that help returning veterans who may have suffered from traumatic injuries. The Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation, for example, provides retreats to injured veterans in Montana with recreational activities.
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4. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America — The nonprofit IAVA connects veterans for support. There are some 420,000 members who enjoy family-friendly events, education and employment programs, and get-togethers at communities across the country.
5. Vets4Vets — Through groups around the country, Vets4Vets provides free weekend workshops so vets can discuss their experiences or trauma of war with other vets.
6. Start a vet program — U.S. Marine veterans Bob Adams and Dirk Enger opened the Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans in Wheaton, Illinois in 2007, CNN reported. The nonprofit grew into an organization that provides housing and counseling to some 400 vets a year. Adams, a clinical social worker, had noticed that many homeless people in Chicago were veterans and began envisioning such a program.
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