Our service members, veterans, and their families offer service and sacrifice for our benefit, and sometimes knowing how to show them we appreciate them can feel challenging. How do you express gratitude to someone who offers so much of themselves?
John 15:13 tells us, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Those who offer up their lives for our country, also do so for those of us who remain civilians. They have blessed us with their service and sacrifice, and it is an honor to offer blessings back to them.
Read on for practical ways to bless those who give so much.
Our Older Veterans
Many people realize veterans are typically able to enjoy certain health care benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs, but even some veterans are surprised to learn they can also use Medicare for their health needs. What’s more, those who do know about enrollment sometimes don’t understand the benefits they can enjoy. However, health care is imperative, and as we grow older, access to various medical services is a must.
As Money.com explains, Medicare coverage and VA benefits are complementary insurances, however, they do not coordinate benefits. The VA limits veterans to receive their care through VA facilities, so participating in both broadens veterans’ access to health care. Added to their conundrum, older people often find both the VA healthcare system and Medicare system challenging to navigate. If you know an older veteran, why not offer to help? The VA offers a wealth of information online for their healthcare system, and you can read more about using the two programs together by clicking here.
Support Through Your Career
Do you have a heart for helping people, particularly those serving our country? If that is one of your gifts, a career in military social work could be a worthwhile consideration. Military social workers are civilian professionals who work directly with veterans, those currently in service, and their families. Situations range from helping during a crisis to everyday support, and as Encyclopedia of Social Work explains, military social workers fill a unique and important niche.
Social workers often have a Master’s of Social Work degree, but many accredited programs accept students without a Bachelor’s degree in social work. If your obligations limit your choices, there are several colleges offering accredited online programs, and there are also hybrid programs if in-person instruction is preferable for your circumstances. In order to complete a Master’s of Social Work, many programs require from 900 to 1,200 hours of fieldwork. If you feel called, it’s an ideal way to provide service to our military and their families.
Simple But Effective
Some of the best ways to bless veterans, men and women in service, and their families are very simple. For instance, writing letters is a traditional way of offering support. If you’re sending a letter to someone currently deployed, some experts suggest mailing it as soon as possible after you get the recipient’s address. You can get addresses for service men and women from Any Soldier. Keep the tone positive, and let them know you appreciate their service.
If you know anyone with a family member currently deployed, consider offering support to that person as well. Bear in mind, those left at home are shouldering the family’s local responsibilities alone. It can be a challenging and lonely proposition, and simple actions like offering to carpool, exchanging babysitting duties, or delivering meals can lift some of the weight. And remember, the gift of your time and companionship would likely be treasured. Offer a lunch outing, go for a walk together, or simply sit and talk.
Last but far from least, spending time in prayer is a wonderful way to bless those who serve or served our country. Remember our veterans, those currently in service, and their family members as you open your heart and mind, and consider asking for their protection.