Sup­port vet­er­ans this Memo­rial Day

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL -

Here are some mean­ing­ful ways you can show your sup­port for vet­er­ans this Memo­rial Day: • Help pro­vide a ser­vice dog to a vet­eran with phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties or PTSD. The Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion for As­sis­tance Dog Ser­vices (NEADS) pro­vides ser­vice dogs for free to qual­i­fy­ing vet­er­ans. You can help by mak­ing an on­line do­na­tion, spon­sor a “dog­gie dorm” for ser­vice dogs in train­ing, raise a puppy who will be­come a ser­vice dog, or be­come a vol­un­teer. Visit the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s web­site at www.neads.org to learn more. • Do­nate to the Pur­ple Heart Foun­da­tion’s schol­ar­ship pro­gram, which pro­vides fi­nan­cial sup­port to Pur­ple Heart re­cip­i­ents and their fam­i­lies for col­lege-re­lated ex­penses like tu­ition, books, and room and board. • In­stead of spend­ing the

day in­dulging in your own cook­out, con­tact the lo­cal vet­er­ans’ home or vet­er­ans’ hos­pi­tal and vol­un­teer there for the day. Or, you can sim­ply take an hour or two to visit with the res­i­dents there and thank them for their ser­vice. • Visit the lo­cal ceme­tery and place flags or flow­ers on the graves of vet­er­ans. Con­tact the ceme­tery first for their vis­it­ing guide­lines and to learn where the vet­er­ans sec­tion is lo­cated — many ceme­ter­ies have spe­cial sec­tions set aside for vet­er­ans. • Help en­sure vet­er­ans make the most of the ser­vices avail­able to them. Do­nate to the Pur­ple Heart Foun­da­tion’s Na­tional Ser­vice Of­fi­cers Pro­gram, which helps pay to place ser­vice of­fi­cers in Vet­er­ans Ad­min­is­tra­tion fa­cil­i­ties across the coun­try. Th­ese of­fi­cers are spe­cially trained to help vet­er­ans ac­cess the many ben­e­fits, pro­grams and ser­vices avail­able to them.

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