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Showing Gratitude to our Veterans for Military Service and Sacrifice

January 27, 2014

Aside from government-related groups, there are many charitable, non-profit organizations (NPO’s) whose missions are to assist military veterans.  As with any NPO, it is beyond prudent to check out any organization you consider donating to, or seek help from. There are, unfortunately, con artists and scammers hidden amongst true friends.GeoRClarkMemplaza_Sm_26May2013

I recently found a site that links to a huge number of valid* organizations:  Military Family and Veterans Service Organizations of America (http://www.mfvsoa.org).  It describes itself as “a federation of America’s finest national organizations working to ensure our military and their families are not forgotten in their service and sacrifice.”  The links provided are a broad range of charities that assist veterans and military families in finding resources for health and economic “concerns.” Resources encompass assistance in locating and securing safe, affordable housing, medical care, counseling, and scholarship foundations for veterans and children of veterans.

MFVSOA has links to well-known organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project (http://woundedwarriorproject.org) and the Gary Sinise Foundation (http://www.garysinisefoundation.org).  A sampling of some of the other groups is listed below:

National Coalition for Homeless Veteranshttp://nchv.org   Tel: 1-800-VET-HELP           Mission:  “Support our nation’s former guardians. Help end homelessness among America’s veterans. Ensure they receive food, housing, health services, job training and placement, legal aid.”  According to their site “Nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night.” That is an appalling statistic, and I doubt that anyone knows how many of those homeless veterans have been denied safe haven because of fear and ignorance surrounding their post-service conditions and behavior.  A good many are likely homeless because they return to a world where they have no one and no place waiting for them, or their former jobs are no longer available to them.

Operation Second Chancehttp://operationsecondchance.org        Mission:  “Providing emergency assistance and recreation to wounded veterans and their families. Help facilitate their transition into civilian society. Promote public awareness for our wounded veterans.  Sometimes the help given is as simple as providing transportation for a disabled or disadvantaged veteran to purchase a gift for a child, because conquering the little things can be as meaningful – and difficult – as the big stuff.

Sew Much Comforthttp://sewmuchcomfort.org      Mission:  “To provide custom-made adaptive clothing, free of charge, to all wounded service members from current conflicts and from all branches of the military and National Guard…provide a tangible reminder of our gratitude…given them an added measure of comfort, dignity and freedom as they recover…”  The “adaptive clothing” referred to is ordinary exercise-type shirts, pants, and undergarments that have been re-designed and/or altered to accommodate bulky medical devices, prosthetics and paraphernalia that would otherwise mandate wearing a hospital gown.  Since 2004, Sew Much Comfort has distributed “more than 134,140 pieces of adaptive clothing to our wounded.”

Veterans Airlift Commandhttp://www.veteransairlift.org         Mission:  “Free private air transportation to combat wounded veterans and families for medical and other compassionate purposes through a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots.”   This is a service similar to the volunteer organization Angel Flight, Inc. (http://www.angelflight.org).   Many general aviation pilots would gladly help out a veteran in a crisis situation.

The Gary Sinise Foundation has a poster on their site that pretty well sums up how a lot of Americans feel about our veterans and military:

“While we can never do enough to show our gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.”  (©Gary Sinise Foundation)

Well said, Mr. Sinise. Well said.

* – Note: I cannot personally vouch for the solvency or ethical practices of any organization.  I am acquainted with many of them, but not affiliated with any of them.  Please use due diligence in checking things out for yourself, and help the organizations that you deem worthy of your time and funds.

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