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Giving Back to Those Who Defend Our Country


By Rhonda Underhill


Arizona had approximately 18,297 active-duty military personnel in 2017, and this number doesn't take into account the number of veterans who call Arizona home. Unfortunately, all these individuals are at greater risk for mental issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. They may face obstacles such as homelessness and joblessness as well, and their families face struggles, too. Fortunately, you can help these individuals.


Send a Care Package

Create and mail a care package to someone who's serving. Include books, puzzles, magazines, and other similar items to keep them occupied in their free time. Since soldiers are limited as to what they can access overseas, consider sending candy or home-baked items. You can also include personal hygiene products, blankets, or sweatpants. Ask your children to color pictures or create homemade cards. These are greatly appreciated and show your support.


Help With a Job Search

Fortunately, you may help a service person or veteran from your hometown find a job. Take time to inquire about their skills and experience. Based on this information, even if you must research, look for jobs they're qualified to perform. The internet makes looking for a job easier than ever, particularly with sites such as Indeed and Monster.

Before they apply for jobs, check if the service member or veteran's resume is updated. If not, assist them in revising and even improving it. Additionally, cover letters are still a vital component of the job application process. You can aid the individual in crafting one to give them a general idea of what one needs to include.


Have Coffee with a Service Person's Spouse

Something as simple as spending time with a spouse of an active duty service person can help. Oftentimes, a military wife or husband feels stressed, depressed, confused, lonely, or resentful. This individual may be raising children without the emotional support of their spouse. They may also have a job and other responsibilities.

Therefore, just reaching out to them to go for coffee at The Organic Bean Cafe or The Nile Coffee Shop and lending an ear can take some weight off the spouse's shoulders. While you're meeting with this person, listen to their problems and think about ways you can help.


Assist in a Home Search

Ask the service person, veteran, or their family member if they're interested in looking for a home. Offer to visit open houses and tour homes to help them find a home suited for them and their family's needs. The home-buying process is tedious, especially obtaining a mortgage. By contributing your assistance, you can ease some of the stress.

Find out if the service person or veteran qualifies for a Veterans Affairs loan. With a VA loan, the person doesn't need to place a down payment or pay mortgage insurance.


Find Ways to Make a Difference

You can make a difference in the lives of veterans, service members, and their families in the Mesa, AZ, region by helping them find a home, being there when they need a friend, and sending care packages.


 

If you're looking for more volunteer opportunities to help veterans and their families in Mesa, visit Disabled American Veterans East Valley Chapter 8.

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