How to Be a Help to Troops, Vets, and Their Families

When it comes to those who are willing to give of themselves, little compares with people who serve in the military. We all owe an insurmountable debt to veterans, those in service, and their families. However, even though there is no way to really repay their sacrifice, there are ways to show your appreciation. Here are some ways you can give back.

 Consider Career Options

 Do you love the idea of a service-oriented lifestyle, but you prefer a civilian role? If you are in a situation in which you’re rethinking your career, one option that can be very satisfying is that of a social worker. An undergraduate education in social work isn’t necessary, as you can earn a master’s degree from any number of accredited institutions, whether in-person or via an online curriculum. As a part of completing your qualifications, social workers are often required to undertake between 900 and 1,200 hours of fieldwork.

According to some research, military social workers serve a critical need. Those who are in service, veterans, and their families often require assistance with the strain of their lifestyles, and that’s where military social workers come in. These professionals help those who are deployed, their families who are left behind, those adjusting to civilian life after the fact, and people in service stateside. The Psychological Health Center of Excellence explains that military social workers can assess individuals, provide behavioral therapy, and advocate for those affected by military life. It’s a unique and necessary niche.

Get Involved

If you’re interested in serving our troops, veterans, and their families but a career change isn’t on your horizon, you have other options at your fingertips. There is a large variety of charitable entities that help this segment of the population. You can donate time, money, or energy through any number of organizations throughout the country.

No matter what your skills are, there are opportunities for you to chip in. Some charities need help with financing scholarships, some need people who can swing hammers, and some need those who can make phone calls. There are even places to donate used laptops so soldiers who are deployed can keep in contact with loved ones back home. There is a need for all these things and everything in between, so think about what you can offer and explore your options.

Be a Friend

When someone in the military is deployed, we often tend to focus on the person in service. However, military spouses are also in need of our support, and they can suffer from a number of different issues. For example, Slate points out that many military spouses are under emotional strain, facing loneliness, isolation, and worry for their loved one.

As a result, some research indicates military spouses are more apt to suffer from mental illnesses and abuse substances. The long periods of separation and the fear of what could be happening to their spouse are seen as underlying issues, potentially leading to mental illnesses. In fact, the stress on military spouses can be so great that they appear to be at an increased risk for suicide. What’s more, Science Daily notes that military spouses who are pregnant are at an increased risk for prenatal depression due to social isolation.

There is something about the personal touch that can really make someone’s day. If you know a military spouse whose loved one is deployed, take time out to show you care. A cup of coffee and listening ear can be an oasis for someone who is struggling. If chatting and listening isn’t your thing, take a walk together, offer to carpool, or deliver a casserole. The personal interaction and gesture of support can mean more than you know.

Our troops, veterans, and their families give a great deal to protect our freedom. Think about how you can give something back. No matter how seemingly small the gesture, there is a need.

Article by: Kelli Brewer, Deploy Care

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