Memorial Day
Glasses with USA flag - Illustration for the Memorial day article

Nonprofits That Offer Assistance To Veterans

With Memorial Day coming up, we need to remember that this holiday originated as Decoration Day, a time to honor our fallen military members. Since the Revolutionary War, more than one million members of the military have died serving the United States, and they all deserve to be remembered.

The nation also needs to honor its veterans. These service people return home needing help reentering society. Often they find that their government benefits are not enough to address their emotional and physical needs. Many suffer lifelong issues due to their years of service and deserve the help of their fellow citizens. Fortunately, a number of excellent nonprofit organizations offer services to improve veterans' quality of living. Since vision care is often a problem for vets, some of these organizations focus on providing vision products and services.

The American Legion

The American Legion was established in 1919 and has made supporting military members and veterans their primary mission in the nearly 100 years since. They offer dozens of programs, which include help in applying for veterans' benefits. In addition, they offer a number of discounts for past and present military members and their families on products and services for their members. Veterans can receive significant savings on medical and vision products and services through The American Legion.

Blinded Veterans Association

Active duty service members suffer more than their share of severe eye injuries. Some come home legally or completely blind. The BVA offers a number of services to those veterans to help support them emotionally, socially, and in the workforce. Their Field Service Program Resource Center provides a dedicated toll-free number (844-250-5180) for blind veterans so that they can access services no matter where they live in the United States. The BVA aims to create a supportive community for all blinded veterans.

Fisher House Foundation

Unfortunately, active military members and veterans often end up hospitalized for eye injuries and other physical problems, sometimes for extended periods. This nonprofit builds "comfort homes" where their families can stay for free while they are hospitalized. Fisher House Foundation also offers donated frequent flyer miles to family members so they can be at the bedsides of their injured service members or veterans.

Soldiers' Angels

The Soldier's Angels organization offers a number of programs to aid military families, active service members, wounded service members, and veterans. Individuals, small businesses, and larger corporations donate money and services to military members, veterans, and their families. Donors may "adopt" individuals or families and help meet their basic needs. In 2017, one eyecare company donated hundreds of pairs of custom reading glasses to veterans to make their daily lives easier.

Wounded Warrior Project

This organization aids wounded military members who served on or after September 11, 2001, and have "pressing needs." Their programs address physical wellness, mental health, career counseling, and general support. In addition, they also counsel veterans on what government benefits they are entitled to, including vision services and aids, and how to apply for them. They monitor a veteran's claim and offer support in case of any processing problems.

Adjusting to life after military service is often difficult, even for those without serious physical injuries. While veterans are entitled to a number of benefits from the United States government, these benefits are sometimes hard to access. They also are often not enough to give veterans the quality of life they deserve. Many nonprofits exist to fill the gaps in benefits and help veterans maintain their physical health, eye health, and mental health. Support is available for our veterans, thanks largely to the nation's grateful citizens.