Veterans Day. It has always been true, but it appears to me that since 9/11 and the ensuing wars, more and more people do in fact take the time to stop and say “Thanks” to our troops. You certainly can’t complain about that. These brave men and women have put their lives on the line to help protect our country and deserve every bit of praise and thanks that can be heaped on them.
That being said, at the same time, the federal government has failed on an epic scale to do their part in helping our veterans when they are finished with their tours of duty or are otherwise incapacitated. We have all heard the horror stories that were for a time coming out of Walter Reed hospital, funding cut to programs to help Veterans reintegrate back into civilian life, and even earlier this year budget proposals were brought up to cut benefits to elderly and disabled veterans. And other proposed budget cuts could only make this situation worse in the years to come.
I am not going to go into the politics of it, as both sides of the aisle have the tendency to drop the ball in this regard. So instead what I am suggesting is that people (you) step up and put your money where your “thanks” is. There are plenty of worthwhile organizations that serve the purpose of filling those gaps, and an excellent way to show your appreciation would be to donate to one of these organizations. Now, there are a few that are more suspect (as well as some that are outright scams), so do your homework to ensure your money is in fact going to help where it is needed.
In the name of convenience, I am providing a couple of the reputable organizations. But there are plenty out there, so feel free to select the one that you think best (again, doing your homework first as some, have significant “overhead” fees that take out a large percentage before what is left for the troops, like The Wounded Warrior Project, were only 60% of the money collected goes to helping Veterans).
Don’t just say Thanks to our troops, step up and show them how much you appreciate them.
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) – DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year. 96.1% of all funds collected go directly to helping Veterans.
Semper Fi Fund – Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. 91.8% of all funds raised is spent on Veteran programs.