On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, we honor our nation’s military men and women who have made tremendous sacrifices for their country.
But sometimes their service comes at an immeasurable cost. As vets resume their civilian lives, many struggle with joblessness, mental health issues and homelessness.
With 6.3 percent of the nation’s veterans facing unemployment, an estimated 67,000 veterans sleeping on the streets on any given night and other grim statistics, our nation's service members need our help.
Find your own way to honor our nation's heroes this Veterans Day, or check out the organizations below that support former military members in need.
Unemployed VeteransLast month, 6.3 percent of the nation’s veterans were unemployed, with post-9/11 vets facing a 10 percent unemployment rate. These organizations and others are providing much-needed help for vets in today’s job market.
- Hire Heroes USA creates job opportunities for vets by providing personalized job training from other vets who have business experience.
- Wall Street Warfighters is a six-month in-residence course for vets and extensive training is provided to prepare vets for a career in the finance industry.
Veterans With DisabilitiesAbout 25 percent of recent veterans come home injured. Missing limbs, burns, spinal cord injuries and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are among the crushing conditions these veterans face in civilian life. Several organizations reach out to injured veterans and their families to help them heal and adapt to living with a disability.
- The Wounded Warrior Project helps veterans with both their physical and invisible wounds -- with a special emphasis on stress relief -- as they adjust to life on the home front.
- Homes For Our Troops raises money and provides services to build specially adapted homes for injured heroes.
Homeless VeteransAn estimated 67,000 veterans sleep on the streets on any given night. A number of organizations are working to make sure that the heroes who risked their lives for our country have a roof over their heads.
- The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans -- a nonprofit network of local, state and federal agencies -- provides housing, food, health services and job training to thousands of homeless veterans every year.
- Operation Dignity offers transitional housing for homeless vets throughout California. The organization also provides health care assistance, parenting classes, relapse prevention, anger management training, empowerment training and more. The site indicates that a $25 donation can provide school supplies for kids and $100 can cover job training for a homeless vet.
Veterans Struggling with Mental Health IssuesAn estimated 18 veterans commit suicide every day, even though one-third are receiving help from the Department of Veteran Affairs at the time of their death. With a host of complex issues contributing to veteran suicide, several organizations seek to address the distressing issues these vets face to keep them from taking their own lives.
- The Veterans Crisis Line connects veterans with members in the VA through phone, chat or text, to provide care and even life-saving rescues to vets during this critical time.
- Give An Hour calls on mental health professionals to donate an hour of their time to troops and their families.
Veterans Trying To AcclimateAround 2.4 million soldiers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The tours come with a psychological cost, and many suffer in silence, when it comes to trying to readjust to family and civilian life. Several organizations are dedicated to ease the transition when service members come home.
- The Coming Home Project helps returning soldiers adjust to life back home by offering a host of psychological, spiritual and family services.
- The Reboot Workshop is a three week course that helps soldiers transition by cultivating their employable skills.