Tuesday, January 31, 2023

5 Ways to Support the Veterans in Your Life

 

The Toledo Lucas County Public Library is running a series of workshops for veterans and families of veterans, to help keep the memories and legacy alive. From researching military genealogy to digitizing military photos or records to the use of trauma dogs to help veterans cope, it’s a great assortment of services being provided. The classes, which run on Saturday, October 22 and Saturday, November 5, offer the reminder that we need to celebrate our veterans not just on Veterans Day, but year round. History that is not recorded is eventually history that is lost.

So what are some of the best ways to help or support veterans? Here are five great ways that you can commit to and they won’t take a lot of time or money, but they will positively affect several lives (including your own).

And be sure to check out the links down at the bottom to find out more about the Library’s upcoming veteran workshops and special “War Comes Home” exhibition.

5. Say “Thank you”

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The most simple of efforts, this one takes but a moment and costs you nothing. If you see veterans on the street in uniform, stop and thank them for their service. You won’t lose any “cool points” and it will make them feel good. And you’ll feel pretty good about it as well. Unless they yell at you and tell you to mind your own business. But they probably won’t.

4. Record their story

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If you’ve got a veteran in your life, ask them if you can preserve their account of their time in the military. Even if it’s just an audio recording that you keep to yourself, there might come a time when you can’t ask them about their experiences and you will wish you had. And it can give you a better understanding of them as a person, which can help you function better as a person as well. There are services, such as the Veteran’s History Project that can aid you in this endeavor.

3. Visit wounded vets at the hospital

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Take an afternoon or an evening sometime that you would have spent watching Dr. Phil or lying on the couch and complaining that “you’re so bored,” and use that time to go visit the veterans down at the VA hospital. To find your nearest VA volunteer office, click here.

2. Donate to a worthy cause

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The good news is that there are several programs established to help veterans. The bad news is that most of these foundations lack the financial aid to help everyone. If you’re one of those shy people who doesn’t know any veterans and doesn’t want to go speak to the strangers who help preserve this country so you can be a shy recluse, donating to one of these causes might be your best bet.

Here’s one service that helps veterans (starting with WWII vets and terminally ill vets) get to the memorials in Washington D.C. that were constructed to honor them.

1. Use your skills to help

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You’re good at something in this world, whether it’s computer repair, construction or even video games. Maybe it’s writing lists for the internet? Whatever it is, you can use your skills to help veterans and veteran services in some capacity. Can you design fliers? Can you cook a meal for a veteran and their family? Can you give a veteran a ride to a medical appointment? You’d be surprised how many skills you have that can be of service to someone who was in the service. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: you’ll feel good that you did.

Click here to see more information about the Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s veterans workshops and exhibition.

 

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