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Five things you can do to support veterans

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If you’re looking for a meaningful way to mark Veterans Day this year, consider these five ways to support veterans in your community and around the country.

  1. Give a veteran a ride to a doctor’s appointment. Many veterans who are disabled or infirm struggle with mobility issues and may not be able to drive themselves around. Consider volunteering for the Department of Veteran Affairs Transportation Network to drive veterans to their medical appointments.
  2. Raise a service dog. Volunteer to help train a service dog to become a companion for a veteran. Organizations like Patriot Paws raise service dogs to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and physical disabilities.
  3. Send a thank-you letter or care package. Write letters expressing your thanks to the vets in your life. If you don’t have any veterans in your family, the organization Operation Gratitude can help you send letters and care packages to veterans.
  4. Participate in a Stand Down event. Stand Downs are events in which services are offered to homeless veterans, including food, clothing, shelter, health screenings, substance abuse treatment and veteran benefits counseling. These events typically last for one to three days. Volunteer to help facilitate a Stand Down event in your community.
  5. Donate to charities that help veterans. Your donations don’t have to be financial contributions. Organizations like AMVETS and Vietnam Veterans of America will pick up your used clothes and household items to donate or sell at discounted prices to veterans and their families. You can even donate frequent flyer miles to the families of injured veterans so that their loved ones can travel to be with them in military hospitals across the country.

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