Like Ben and Albert, there is something we can all do to help others. Veterans have given freely of their time, separated from their families for months and years on end. When they return home, they deserve our understanding and our help. Following are ways all types of entities can become involved.
Don’t wait to start. Do it today!
Choose Veterans First
The biggest challenge to returning Veterans is simply finding a job.
What characteristics do you look for in an employee? Veterans are:
- Highly trained experts
- Hard working
Don’t let their skills go to waste. Join other U.S. companies who actively solicit Veterans for their job openings. Announce that you are proud to be a Veteran-Friendly Employer.
What can a Public Company do?
Every company needs employees, and public companies could lead by example by announcing they are Veteran-Friendly Employers and that they welcome applications from Veterans and their spouses.
The public sector can create benefit programs to assist returning Veterans.
Public companies have the medical and clinical staff to provide programs for PTSD, a well-known issue within Veteran households. Sometimes we forget the cost of being apart for months or years on the family. Spouses and children often need PTSD assistance, too.
What can a Private Company do?
Private companies have a great deal of flexibility to offer assistance to community organizations. Following are examples of community service projects we’ve seen offered by private companies, like yours.
Take the Lead – Help a Vet!
- Make repairs or make ADA alterations to make a Veteran’s home accommodate his new physical realities.
- Help build a “Homes for Heroes” home for a Veteran family.
- Allow employees to take time off to drive a Veteran to a medical appointment.
- Organize an employee-run program to help Veterans and their spouses write resumes and practice job interviews.
- Organize volunteers to teach computer skills to Veterans and their spouses.
- Proudly join the “Veteran-Friendly Employers” and hire Veterans and their spouses.
- Sponsor Veterans wishing to take certification classes.
- Offer Scholarships for Veterans and their spouses (see our “Graduate Degree Scholarship Program”)
- Offer Internships to Veterans and their spouses.
What can a Non-Profit Organization do?
Non-profit organizations are the backbone of our society. Returning Veterans, especially those who are injured and unable to work, need help with social needs like food, shelter, utilities, clothing, and school supplies.
Many returning Veterans need assistance signing up for the benefits they have earned from the Veterans Administration. Many non-profits have people who are equipped to assist with this process. Allow them time off to help, or organize group sessions at your offices.
While in the Armed Forces, most of your life is ordered by your superiors. Finances may be handled by your spouse while you are away, but reality sets in when you get home. Debt counselors can offer much-needed guidance.
What can Educational Institutions do?
Veterans have attended hundreds of hours of training and practice in jobs that may match a degree plan. They need someone willing to see how their military training fits into a collegiate degree plan so they can complete their education as quickly as possible. Can you give just a little of your time to those who have given so much of their time to assure your safety and security?
Many academic institutions have someone on staff to assist Veterans find their way through the maze of applications and paperwork required to start receiving their Veterans benefits. If that is not available at your college or university, please consider adding benefits counseling for Veterans to your counseling services.
Welcome Veterans and their spouses to your college or university by sitting down and explaining the steps to enrolling for classes. It may seem simple to university staff, but Veterans have had a very limited role outside that of protecting our country. Give them a patient hand learning the process.