Everyone can use some help now and then. But those that are most worthy of assistance are our vets. Veteran family support should be tops on the list of government agencies and in the minds of the corporate world, non-profits, and every day citizens. These families cannot be abandoned. It is essential that they have help and encourage at their fingertips.
Thankfully, there are government and private agencies that have stepped up to the plate to offer veteran family support.
Support for these families is provided in many different ways. There are groups and individuals who will provide financial assistance, help with housing or food, transportation assistance, and even counseling or a sympathetic ear when it is needed most.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides some support to the families of veterans as well as the vets themselves. This includes a crisis hotline, readjustment assistance and counseling, PTSD counseling and symptom management, burial benefits for certain family members of veterans along with a memorial service, and bereavement counseling.
Many Private Organizations Also Offer Some Type of Veteran Family Support
The government is just one place where veteran family support can be found. There are also many private groups and organizations that can help when families of veterans need assistance in some way. Each program and organization will have specific eligibility requirements that must be met before veterans or their families can receive assistance and support.
Military Families are Affected Along with the Veteran
Many studies show that families who have a member deployed face much higher stress levels and other disadvantages. This makes veteran family support crucial. Military families face frequent relocation, one parent absent for long time periods, and the spouse or parent left behind facing fear, loneliness, added family and financial responsibilities, and feelings of isolation.
Many Types of Family Support may be Available for Families of Veterans
Many types of programs and veteran family support services may be available. Some programs only offer one or two types of assistance or support while others may offer a program that is much more extensive and that can help address a variety of needs. Support for veterans and their families may include:
- Mental health care
- Medical care
- Dental care
- Medical equipment assistance
- Transportation assistance
- Counseling in many areas including PTSD and career counseling
- Financial assistance
- Utility bill assistance
- Housing assistance
- Education assistance
- Food assistance
- Caregiver support and relief
Mental Health and Medical Care Assistance for Veteran Families
One area where veteran family support is greatly needed is in mental health and medical care. There are clearing websites that offer a listing of available resources in this category, and there are programs like Strength in Support that specialize in the medical and mental health needs of vets and their families.
There are numerous support and assistance hotlines for those who need mental health treatment or medical care assistance. Some of these hotlines are designed just for veterans and their family members while others may be open to everyone regardless of military status. There are also anonymous online counseling and therapy programs that vets whom need mental health help can use without worry.
Veteran Financial Assistance
Veteran family support in the form of financial assistance can be found at the Armed Forces Foundation, Hope for the Warriors, Modest Needs, Operation Family Fund, Operation First Response, and Operation Home Front to name just a few. All of these organizations and programs offer short or long-term financial assistance to vets and their families.
There are also veteran family support programs that can provide help with food, clothing, housing, and other needs. These include:
Folds of Honor – This program offers educational assistance.
Military One Source – Offers a variety of support and assistance services.
The Veteran Family Support Alliance – This group provides resources for veterans and family members as well as information and publicity for veteran causes.
Rebuild Hope – Connecting donors and veteran family recipients in need is what this organization specializes in.
The Red Cross – The Red Cross is an organization which has provided veteran family support ever since it first started, and they can help with a variety of emergency needs that vets and family members may have.
On Behalf – Housing assistance for injured veterans and immediate family members.
USA Cares – Housing assistance for all veterans and their families.
Volunteers of America – Veteran housing assistance, employment assistance for vets, and supportive services for veterans families.
Times have changed over the last few decades. Veterans are honored and respected more than in the Vietnam era. Along with the respect has come more veteran family support. A Happy Joe salute to all those that help.