Opinion & Editorial

Plenty of ways to help veterans in 2023

By Freddy Groves
If you’re looking for ways to help other veterans in our area, this year could be your most meaningful.
• Is anyone building homes for veterans? 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 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 spend the first year of their lives in a home to get them ready for service-dog training. You’ll teach him initial basic commands, keeping him healthy and getting him socialized out in public. You’ll be giving the puppy what he’ll need to help a veteran with PTSD, a physical disability or mental trauma.
• 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 (honorflight.org).
(c) 2023 King Features Synd., Inc.
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■ As of Jan. 17, veterans in acute suicidal crisis can go to any VA or non-VA health care facility for emergency health care at no cost – including inpatient or crisis residential care for up to 30 days and outpatient care for up to 90 days. Veterans do not need to be enrolled in the VA system to use this benefit.



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