Whenever someone joins the United States military, their commitment becomes a commitment from their entire family. It’s not just the individual soldier who is risking a life or sacrificing time and strength to defend and protect America and her interests; it is also that soldier’s family, including spouses and children. While most of us have at least a theoretical idea of the sacrifices soldiers and sailors make, it’s easy to overlook the personal sacrifices that the families of veterans have given. We must remember what they have done and do everything we can to support them in turn. Helping military families can mean donations to Purple Heart or other veterans clothing donations. It can mean helping families in need get settled in a new area and find jobs. It can mean sacrificing our time and donations to wounded veterans charities. Read on for a bit more about why we should help and how.
What Kind of Sacrifices Do Military Families Make?
No one who has not lied the life of a soldier or of a soldier’s family member can fully appreciate the sacrifices that military families make, but here are just a few of the things these families have to endure:
- Constant uprooting Military families are required to move whenever a service member is posted to a new location. Anyone who has gone through a move knows exactly how difficult it is to rebuild a life in a totally new community, and possibly also a totally new climate, and even culture. Imagine doing that 10 or 12 times over the course of a marriage or childhood?
- Careers put on hold Because the spouses of military members have to move so often, it can be difficult, if not impossible, for them to advance in their own personal professional careers. Essentially, a military wife or husband volunteers to sacrifice their own professional career on behalf of the nation and the spouse they love. And while returning veterans can get help from the government with education and training programs or transitional employment, these benefits are not available for their spouses.
- Limited income As a nation, we do our best to pay our military fairly to compensate them for their sacrifice in a small way, and to enable them to support their families. But no one is going into the military to get rich. Opportunities for pay increase and advancements in the military are not the same as in civilian life, and once a soldier or sailor retires, there are even fewer options
How Can We Help?
- Helping as a community As a community, we can invest in programs to support veterans and their spouses as they transition from military to civilian life. It’s also important to push for extended benefits for the spouses of veterans, whose already career-limited incomes can be stretched to the max as their spouse returns home and goes through the process of healing and reintegrate into civilian life.
- Supporting as individuals There are many veterans charities, and donations to Purple Heart and similar groups are always a great idea for helping families in need. Donations to Purple Heart will be used in helping disabled veterans, in assisting veterans’ families, and in advocating for more assistance and help for those who have sacrificed so much on behalf of their country.
Where Do I Start?
You can start by making donations to Purple Heart, such as arranging a clothing drop off or even a donation pick up. You can donate clothes and household goods like toys, kitchen supplies, textiles, and even small pieces of furniture and minor appliances such as microwaves or electric drills. But donations to Purple Heart don’t have to be just things. Donations of money are also accepted, and donations of time are always appreciated. Nearly any charity is in regular need of volunteers to go through donations or to man donation locations.
America’s veterans and their families have sacrificed some of the best years of their lives out of love for their nation. As a nation, let’s love them back by giving them the care and support they need.