5 ways you can help a veteran


Two small American flags criss-crossed near a set of dog tags on the stars section of a larger American flag

This Veterans Day, show your appreciation by supporting organizations that help veterans and their families.

Ninety-three percent of us have never served in the military.

That means just seven percent of the U.S. population has put everything on the line to serve in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard.

The veterans who have protected us in wartime and kept the peace are the numerical minority, yet they hold a major place in our hearts. This Veterans Day, consider giving of your time or money to help those who stepped up to protect our freedom.

Here are five organizations that help veterans and military families and could use your support:

Veterans of Foreign Wars

The VFW supports service members while they are on the front line, as they are being discharged and long after they return. They also help veterans file VA claims, grant financial aid and award scholarships. The 2018 VFW Veterans Day Matching Gift Campaign will double gifts.

Wounded Warrior Project

This non-partisan organization helps wounded veterans regain their independence with programs that fit both the needs of the Wounded Warrior and their family. Donations help those who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness or wound in co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001.

VFW National Home for Children

This National Home in Eaton Rapids provides up to four years of housing, education, daycare and more to struggling military and veteran families. In accepting families to the program, only one thing is asked of them: to be committed to making changes in their lives. Donations can be designated for specific funds or applied where they are most needed.

Battle Creek VA Medical Center

Since 1924, the Battle Creek VA Medical Center has been serving the men and women who have served our nation. In addition to medical services, the Center provides mental health care. Volunteers are needed for these areas: information desk ambassador, patient feeding, drivers, the No Veteran Dies Alone Program, pet therapy, recreation assistant and more. Volunteer or donate here.

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is a long-term care facility that has been serving veterans since the aftermath of the Civil War. In addition to medical care and rehabilitation, veterans receive opportunities to participate in spiritual, social, recreational and educational activities. Their volunteers help with everything from spending quality time with members to raking leaves. For volunteer information, email Deanna Reames at reamesd@michigan.gov.

To everyone who has served in the military, and to the families that have supported you, we send a sincere and heart-felt THANK YOU! We truly appreciate your willingness to protect our freedom.

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