For many veterans returning home from military service, making the transition back to civilian life can be a challenge. Luckily, there are many non-profit organizations dedicated to helping veterans make that change from life in the military. From providing employment assistance to helping student veterans continue their college educations and organizing support groups, the following non-profit organizations are just some of the organizations that are committed to giving support to veterans across the country.
Wounded Warrior Project
Through the Wounded Warrior Project, veterans can access a wealth of assistance and support covering a multitude of areas, including both physical and mental health, as well as employment after military service. Donations to Wounded Warrior Project help both service members who have been injured or are ill; the help extends to service members’ families, too. From career guidance to providing networking opportunities, the Wounded Warrior Project can also assist veterans who are looking for employment; it also provides resources and assistance for businesses that wish to hire veterans.
Women Marines Association
Established in 1960, the Women Marines Association works to ensure the legacy of women who served in the United States Marine Corps remains intact and shared. The Women Marines Association also provides short-term emergency financial assistance for veterans; this monetary support can be used for a range of needs, including skill training and paying for medical bills. In addition, the organization awards scholarships to those who have served in the United States Marine Corps or Reserve, and to siblings and children of those who served.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
For some veterans, receiving support and mentoring after losing a friend in battle can make a world of a difference. Through Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), veterans can access an entire support network of peers who have had similar experiences and make connections with those who empathize and understand. TAPS programs, which are available at no cost, also include support and guidance for caregivers, surviving family members and suicide survivors. More than 50,000 people have received support and assistance from TAPS.
Student Veterans of America
Veterans who wish to return to the college classroom after serving in the military can find support and advocacy through the non-profit organization Student Veterans of America. The Student Veterans Association recognizes the difficulties that veterans returning to college may encounter, including a lack of a support network while on campus. To that end, the Student Veterans Association provides student veterans with networking opportunities with other veterans. The organization also advocates for student veterans and works to provide scholarships for veteran students, among its other goals.
Blinded Veterans Association
The non-profit organization Blinded Veterans Association, which estimates there are approximately 165,000 blind or visually impaired veterans, provides assistance for veterans who are blind or visually impaired through support groups and other resources. For example, the organization’s program Operation Peer Support provides a support network for soldiers who were blinded in combat. The program is cross-generational, connecting soldiers who served as far back as World War II with those who served recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Blinded Veterans Association also provides advocacy regarding regulations and policies, and raises awareness regarding blindness through events, public speaking and brochures. These events help educate the public regarding blindness.
The organizations above were selected from the “2013/2014 Directory for Veterans and Military Service Organizations” by the Office of the Secretary further information is available via the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.