Each November 11 is Veterans Day, an official public holiday which honors those who have served our country and risked their lives to protect our freedoms. This year, why not spend the day giving back to the veterans. Listed below are some organizations that support our service men and women, as well as ways you can help show your gratitude for their sacrifices.
Organizations that serve Veterans
The American Legion began in 1919 and is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization. They provide assistance and guidance to veterans, military personnel, their families, and communities. Among the many initiatives that the American Legion is involved with are fundraising for scholarships, VA and children’s’ hospitals, and providing financial assistance, job training, and job placement for vets.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” as their mission statement. Serving and honoring America’s veterans is the primary focus of this government agency, which provides pensions, disability compensation, healthcare, survivor’s benefits, educational assistance for dependents, home loans, and life insurance among many other services.
The Veterans of Foreign War trace their organization’s start back to the end of the Spanish-American War when many who fought arrived back home wounded or ill, without medical care or pensions, and no way to care for themselves. This organization was instrumental in establishing the Veterans Administration, the national cemetery system, and the expansion of the GI Bill.
The USO serves the men and women in the U.S. military, and their families, throughout their time in uniform. The USO is there to help from the moment they join, throughout their assignments and deployments, and as they transition back into their communities at home. The USO helps keep those deployed connected to those back home with care packages, entertainment, gaming systems, and providing technical services such as sending recordings of service members reading their child’s favorite story to their family.
Ways You Can Help
Make the time this Veteran’s Day to say thank you to our servicemen and women. The organizations listed above have many short- and long-term volunteer opportunities, which you can find out more about by going to their websites. Here are some additional ways you could help:
- Deliver a meal or care package to a veteran. Get in touch with an organization’s local chapter to see who would appreciate the gesture.
- Help a veteran tell their personal story with the Veteran’s History Project. They collect first-hand accounts from U.S. Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.
- If you have a veteran or military family living nearby, offer to give them a hand with some projects around the house or yard work.
- Volunteer to drive a vet who is unable to travel on their own to the VA medical facility. You can sign up to offer this service at Disabled American Veterans.
- Visit a veteran in the hospital or nursing home and thank them for their service.
- Send a letter or care package to someone currently deployed overseas. If you don’t have any friends or family currently serving, com is a great way to find names and addresses of deployed servicemembers along with a list of his or her unit’s needs.
- Spend the day appreciating what our servicemen and women have fought for. The National Parks will have free entry during Veterans Day weekend, so consider visiting a historic site, battlefield, or military park that commemorates and honors the service of American veterans.
In honor of Veterans Day, all Eastex Credit Union branches will be closed on Friday, November 10th. You may continue to access your accounts via online and mobile banking during this time, and our ATMs are available 24/7.