One of the most effective forms of assistance for former military members may be vets helping vets, and for good reason. Military service fosters a sense of camaraderie and trust between service members that usually continues even after the military service is complete. Veterans may also be highly motivated to help a brother or sister in arms and to go above and beyond to assist because of this bond.
Why is it so Important to have Vets Helping Vets?
Vets helping vets is a win-win The veterans who are providing help gain a sense of satisfaction and the knowledge that they have made a difference. The veterans who receive the assistance that they need also benefit. Some veterans may have difficulty finding employment and volunteer opportunities, and helping other vets opens up these opportunities.
Another Veteran Better Understands What a Vet is Going Through
One of the biggest benefits of vets helping vets is a better understanding of what the veteran is going through, whether it is PTSD, financial difficulties due to service related injuries, or problems obtaining the benefits that veterans may be entitled to. Someone who has been there and done that has a level of personal experience and empathy that cannot be taught or faked.
Veterans may Trust Another Vet more than a Civilian Counselor
While civilians may want to help and give back, it is often more effective to have vets helping vets because of the trust and bonding that is established by shared military service. Someone who is not familiar with combat situations and other common experiences that veterans go through may not be as beneficial in providing assistance because of a lack of trust.
What Opportunities are there for Vets who want to Assist Veterans?
There are many different possibilities for those interested in vets helping vets. Our veterans return home with a wide variety of issues, from mental health disorders to physical disabilities and traumatic brain injury. Combat veterans also face many challenges in transitioning back to civilian life and this may cause additional stress.
Veterans can help other vets in many ways big and small. Sometimes just having a sympathetic ear and someone to listen who truly understands is all that is needed. Some veterans may need transportation to treatment appointments; others may need a referral for PTSD counseling or a substance abuse disorder. Do some research and find out what assistance the vets in your area typically need so you can help.
Veteran to Veteran Camaraderie
In the enormously tense circumstances of combat zones, social bonds are often formed that continue long after the battle has ended. This emotional armor can provide a lifelong shield around those who served in the military. Veterans that keep connections with other vets often have reduced levels of stress-related ailments – even in their later years.
Giving Back and Helping Others can be Therapeutic
Studies show that helping others has benefits and can be therapeutic, so vets helping vets is the perfect solution. A University of Exeter Medical School research team, led by Dr. Suzanne Richards, reviewed 40 various studies on health and volunteer activities and found that there are health benefits to giving back and helping others. The research paper can be found in the online journal BMC Public Health.
NVF and Veterans helping Veterans
At the National Veterans Foundation, our veteran staffed organization assists veterans of any era. Whether it is an emergency need or crisis situation or help with the tedious process of receiving benefits, we are ready and willing to provide support.
Fact: more than 400,000 veterans in need of medical treatment, substance abuse, PTSD Counseling, VA benefits advocacy, food, shelter, or suicide intervention, have now been served by NVF.
The NVF all veteran staff provides a one-stop resource for any needs that a veteran may have, from counseling and mental health assistance to housing and employment help.
If you are a veteran needing help, the NVF vets are standing by ready to assist. Call our Lifeline for Vets at 888.777.4443 or click here to request assistance.
To continue our efforts helping veterans we need your help. Please donate today.
Make a difference in a vet’s life. We are veterans helping veterans.
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