The band, O.A.R., has created a new video to support the work of IAVA.org (Iraq Afghanistan Veterans Association). It seems fitting for today. Even if you don't turn on the sound, please watch to see the statistics they supply. They were eye-opening, at least for me:
In light of the terrorist attack at Fort Hood, another very good organization is the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors(TAPS). From their website:
Caring for the families of the fallen...
TAPS is the 24/7 tragedy assistance resource for ANYONE who has suffered the loss of a military loved one, regardless of the relationship to the deceased or the circumstance of the death.
Founded out of tragedy in 1994, TAPS has established itself as the front line resource to the families and loved ones of our military men and women. TAPS provides comfort and care through comprehensive services and programs including peer based emotional support, case work assistance, crisis intervention, and grief and trauma resources.
TAPS HAS ASSISTED OVER 25,000 SURVIVING FAMILY MEMBERS, CASUALTY OFFICERS AND CAREGIVERS.
Our National Military Survivor Seminars and Good Grief Camps have been conducted for fourteen years, and are now complemented by regional seminars across the country.
If you are suffering the loss of a military loved one, or if you know someone who can use our support, please call our toll-free hotline now: 1-800-509-TAPS (8277).
Another organization about which you may have heard is the Wounded Warriors Project:
To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women,
To help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and
To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.
There are a couple of organizations working with active military I would like to highlight as well. One is the USO, which has put out an appeal for Veteran's Day to to help "The Heroes of Yesterday and Today". You may be surprised to learn, as I was, that the USO does not get government funds. It is a non-profit organization. Here is the appeal:
Deadline - November 11: Help The USO Reach Out To Those Who Need Us Most
Veterans Day is the day we celebrate – and say thanks… not just to those veterans who've returned home, but also the soldiers who are now serving in combat zones overseas.
The USO needs your help by November 11th, to bring cheer and comfort to the American men and women currently serving all over the world:
• USO Care Packages offer lonely GIs useful personal items and treats -- the little necessities and indulgences they’re most likely to miss during a lengthy deployment.
• Pre-paid phone cards bring a soldier home for a few precious minutes. With a FREE phone call, they can talk to their families, share a laugh, hear the news and reassure those they love that they’re OK.
• Celebrity Entertainment Tours travel all the way to the Front and offer music and laughter to our troops so they can forget the stress of combat for a few happy hours.
In previous American wars, citizens at home participated in scrap drives, endured rationing, purchased bonds, planted gardens, and helped the troops in many meaningful ways. Today’s conflicts don’t ask much from those of us who are not part of a military family. But now here’s a way to “do your part” to honor the veterans of the past and the soldiers who protect us today...
Should you choose to make a donation, the USO has a place to make your donation in honor of, or in memory of, a veteran or current service member. It is a great organization, to be sure.
Another very worthy organization working with current military members and their families is the National Military Family Association. Here is a little more on this 40 year old organization:
The National Military Family Association is an organization with strong grassroots support balanced with professionalism that makes us a leader in the field. Not only do we support military families – we are military families. Spouses, parents, and family members make up our staff and board positions. We speak up on behalf of military families and empower husbands, wives, and children to understand and access their benefits. Based on what we hear from our members, we meet the needs of service members and their families with insightful recommendations, innovative programs, and grassroots efforts to better the quality of life for military families.
My deepest appreciation to those who are currently wearing the uniform.
I would like to leave you with this tribute to our Veterans on this day:
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart...