What Veterans Need, How You Can Help
As an Army Reserve Specialist about to deploy to Afghanistan for a year, Richard Mariello found an organization to support him and his family pre-, during and post-deployment.
(NAPSI)—When people like Army Reserve Specialist Richard Mariello—and more than half a million other servicemen and women—return from Iraq and Afghanistan with significant challenges, the good news is just about every American can help support their transition home.
After their disciplined service, many service members come home to communities that don’t always recognize their talent. Families have trouble readjusting to daily life and often, veterans feel like they don’t fit in. And, some have physical or psychological injuries that are misunderstood or go untreated.
Fact is, veterans are more susceptible to suicide, alcoholism, homelessness and unemployment.
To help, one organization is reaching out to military families by providing employment services, ensuring veterans reconnect with their communities, and supporting the transition process for veterans and their families.
Many may be surprised to learn the organization is Easter Seals. In fact, it has been supporting military service members, veterans, their families and the families of the fallen for decades and has a history of expertise in supporting people with immediate and long-term needs.
Among the services offered are early intervention, inclusive childcare, medical rehabilitation and autism services, respite, job training and employment, camping and recreation, caregivers support and adult day programs.
It also provides specific information, support and services to veterans through its Community One-Source hotline, Operation Employ Veterans training for employers, a contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs to train caregivers of post-9/11 veterans and a program to train homeless veterans for employment. Plus, it advises military families about other service providers—working to eliminate the gaps in service too many face. In addition, Easter Seals is partnering with Col. David Sutherland (U.S. Army, Retired) on Dixon Center (www.DixonCenter.org), a consultancy thatís working to better link national, state and local community outreach and services to veterans, military service members and their families.
Get Involved Locally
Think locally when it comes to supporting military families. That’s where your time, talent and resources can be put to best use—and where military families need it most—at home.
For example, do engage with veterans and their families to make them feel welcome; ask about their interests. Work with charitable and government organizations to create awareness about critical issues facing military families and communicate with and encourage your family and friends to better support veterans and military families, too.
To find local support if you’re a military family or to learn how you can make a difference for military families, visit www.easterseals.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (866) 423-4981.