Many people have asked me a very important question: how can I help veterans? Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as you’d like it to be.
There are a lot of great organizations out there that provide help to soldiers and veterans. Groups like the Gary Sinise Foundation, USA Cares, Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit and so many more. So, you could give money to these charities, which is probably the best and easiest way. Yet, there are other ways you could support veterans. You could donate your time.
We need professionals in veteran-related fields. We need people willing to work and volunteer in the VA hospitals. All those great organizations I mentioned before? Instead of giving money, you could volunteer to help at one of their events. You can hand out tickets, serve food, help with setup and cleanup, the list goes on. Find a charity that speaks to you and become a volunteer or just offer to help in some way. That’s huge!
Now sometimes, the most important thing you can do is just be present. After I got blown up, I woke up in the hospital and my whole family was there at my side. They showed me support just by being there. A lot of times, that’s enough. Don’t underestimate how much “just being there” can do for a veteran. For me, it showed me that I can take it a day at a time and see where things lead.
If you are a veteran and you’re really struggling, there’s a lot of resources out there to help. Still, when it comes to finding the best resource for you and your family, your battle buddies, guys you served with, are the best resource you can have. If you are a vet, other vets always have your back and sometimes you just need to talk stuff out with someone who knows exactly what you’ve been through. There are all kinds of support out there. Please know that you aren’t alone.
About Bryan Anderson: Bryan grew up and resides in Illinois. Injured by an IED in October 2005, Bryan is one of the few triple amputees to survive his injuries in Iraq. He is an ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation and a spokesperson for USA Cares, which is focused on assisting post 9-11 veterans. Click here to learn more about Bryan.