This month, NashCo wanted to take a moment to honor the U.S. Armed Forces, including those who have died in the pursuit of freedom. This and every May, National Military Appreciation Month is a declaration that encourages U.S. citizens to observe the month in a symbol of unity.
Everyone is touched by someone who served in the military, whether you know a veteran or not. They protect us when we don’t even know we’re being protected. As Joseph Cambell said, "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." Veterans give their lives to protect and serve our country, which in turn allows us to be free.
Here are ten ways to support veterans in Nashville:
- Volunteer time, donate money, or donate household belongings through the Tennessee Valey Healthcare System: https://www.tennesseevalley.va.gov/giving/index.asp
- Offer to drive a veteran to a medical appointment or just run a few errands for them.
- Let veterans know about all the resources available to them as residents of Tennessee: https://www.nashvilleservingveterans.com/services/health-service
- Volunteer at your local homeless shelter, some of whom could be veterans who served our country and have fallen on hard times.
- Tell a senior veteran about the financial help Home Instead Senior Care offers to veterans looking for a place to live: https://www.homeinstead.com/237/home-care-services/for-our-veterans
- Write thank you letters to the men and women on the front lines.
- Donate to the Supportive Service for Veteran Families to prevent homelessness: https://ssvfonline.org/
- Take the time to have a meaningful conversation with a vet and really listen.
- Tell a veteran you love about the Veterans Assisted Living Program: https://www.veteranaid.org/veterans-assisted-living-nashville.php
- Donate money or time to veterans advocate Operation Stand Down.
Nashville organization Operation Stand Down (OSTDTN) focuses on helping all veterans and their families by offering a wide range of services, including employment assistance, VA benefits assistance, networking, housing, and much more.
To date, OSDTN has served countless veterans. In the past, their legacy has been to help chronically homeless veterans. They still continue to do that today while also helping veterans find meaningful employment, empower them to be successful, and give them a hand up not a handout.
OSTDTN is currently making adaptive changes to their services to also reach the post 9/11 veteran so that they can battle the projected homelessness increase expected in 2025 to 2030. It is OSDTN’s belief that if we can engage veterans early in their transition, find out what that veteran wishes to accomplish, show them available veteran benefits and how to access them, and help them find meaningful employment, we can prevent hardships that veterans face every day.