For the troops who return home with one of war's cruelest injuries, genital wounds, the recovery process continues long after the initial surgery.
Doctors at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where the wounded first arrive from Iraq or Afghanistan, said that they saw a threefold increase in genital wounds from 2008 to 2010, the Huffington Post reported in October. The injuries -- typically sustained from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) -- have become so widespread that troops suffering from such wounds recently became eligible for the VA's traumatic-injury life insurance.
"We recognize that these types of injuries are devastating and can have a long-lasting impact on the Servicemember's quality of life," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki in a press release.
While the VA provides health care for genitourinary problems and disability compensation, these veterans still require additional healing after leaving the hospital bed.
It is at such moments, when a veteran is fighting to regain his health and sense of self, that nonprofits step in to supplement the VA's services and give the wounded warriors the holistic recovery they need.
Learn about the organizations that are helping to complete that mission below and how you can get involved with the cause.
For the injured warriors who have undergone major surgeries, but still need more reconstructive work they can't afford, there’s Iraq Star. This nonprofit steps in to give injured veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars the continued surgeries they need to heal and improve their self esteem.
Learn how you can help Iraq Star here.
Hope for the Warriors' comprehensive healing approach offers wounded vets one central place to turn during their most trying moments. The organization addresses injured warriors' immediate needs and follows them through to the recovery period to the point when they're ready to take on outdoor adventures.
Consider donating to Hope for the Warriors here.
While recovering from a severe injury, and building back relationships with loved ones who were left behind during battle, wounded veterans can rely on the Coming Home Project for help. This nonprofit pairs veterans, and their families, with mental health professionals in both the counseling and retreat settings.
Find out how you can contribute to the Coming Home Project here.
Billing itself at the "Craigslist for wounded warriors," USA Together offers injured veterans a safe and reliable outlet to ask for the things that may make life a little more comfortable. Donors, in turn, are able to search the site for items they are able to give, from a soft mattress to help to pay a medical bill.
Learn how you can donate to a wounded veteran in need here.
Staffed by a team of veterans well versed in crisis management and VA medical services, the National Veterans Foundation breaks down veterans' benefits, offers referral services and has trained counselors on hand prepared to handle crisis situations.
Consider donating to the National Veterans Foundation here.
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