The Weekly Vista
Helping Veterans in 2023
Recently retired or unemployed, at loose ends and wondering what your next steps should be? If you’re looking for ways to help other veterans in your area, this year could be your most meaningful.
— Is anyone building homes for veterans in your area? Are any organizations ready to break ground and start building in the spring? Do you have construction, plumbing or electrical skills? Even if you don’t, there are jobs you can do to move the project along: reading blueprints and ordering materials, supervising deliveries, providing overnight security, painting walls and trim and much more.
As a place to start, ask if the Habitat for Humanity near you is building a home for a veteran. You might end up as a Habitat employee in charge of volunteer resources or running a Habitat ReStore full of building materials.
— Raise a service dog puppy. These little guys need to spend the first year of their lives in a loving environment to get them ready for their all-important service dog training. You’ll get the pup ready by teaching him initial basic commands, keeping him healthy and getting him socialized out in public. At every step of the way you’ll be giving the puppy what he’ll need to help a veteran with PTSD, a physical disability or mental trauma.
Look around online for organizations in your area that are raising and training service dogs for veterans.
— Volunteer on an Honor Flight. Keep an eye on the schedule in your area for the Honor Flights, those all-expenses-paid trips that take hundreds of veterans to Washington, D.C. They need volunteers for every trip to escort mostly elderly veterans to see all of their monuments and spend the day together. The 2023 schedule of trips will be up on the website in February (www.honorflight.org). Look for the map on the list of hubs around the country.
Is 2023 going to be your year to help yourself by stepping up to help other veterans?