On the heels of President Obama announcing that he will be withdrawing 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by next summer, this weekend holds one of the many keys that we as Americans can use to open doors and support our troops who have lost love, life and limb to ensure our safety and freedoms. Locally, in Colorado, Beaver Creek is hosting the Tough Mudder event, which has raised over a million dollars for wounded warriors. If you are a Coloradoan, check it out.
However, events are not limited to Colorado and events are not the only way that we can stand up and support these men and women. We, as a world, have almost been in these wars for 10 years. One in five veterans returning home suffer from PTSD or TBI, which translates to a of total 300,000 men and women, sons and daughters and mother and fathers returning back to their loved ones with mental health and physical disabilities.
Part of the problem is not that we as a nation don’t care; it’s just that we don’t always know what to do. Here are some ways that you can help your returning veterans.
1. The Wounded Warrior Project – their mission is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in this nation’s history. They do this by helping wounded warriors find jobs, providing unique programs created for helping injured service members and educating the public. They are a nonprofit and additional information can be found on their website
2. Adopt a platoon – By adopting a platoon you can send care packages to our deployed soldiers. They need everything from deodorant and good razors that don’t cut them every time they shave to Little Debbie cakes. On deployments, soldiers miss out on so many things that remind them of home. Care packages keep our soldiers going and boost morale. Nothing is too small.
3. Donate a cellphone. In the age of advancing technology we all have old cell phones lying in a box in the back of our closet. Do something with your old cell phones and donate them to cellphonesforsoldiers.com. Your phone will be sold to a company that recycles phones and the money will be used to purchase calling cards for deployed soldiers so they can call home and talk to their loved ones.
This weekend enjoy your family and your loved ones, enjoy the sun, the rain and all of it. Just keep in mind why we get to enjoy these freedoms and that nothing is too small to give to those who keep us safe and keep us free.