With the appropriate ceremony of Memorial Day 2015 in the books, now is the time to put all that sentiment and thanks into action. We have veterans who need our help, and we all can give that help in a number of ways. It is a downright, rotten shame that we have veterans living on the streets of our great country without a place they can call home. We have veterans who have come home wounded physically and mentally and are not receiving the care they need to recover. We have families taking care of our wounded warriors who are so frazzled they don’t know where to turn for help.
We can do better. We must do better.
Many of our nation’s industries, small and large, are stepping up and creating programs to give vets the necessary training so they can be employed. Central Georgia Technical College recently expanded its outreach to veterans and their families with its military and veterans coordinator to help guide vets through the maze of benefits they and their families are eligible for. Middle Georgia State College has a Veterans Certification Office, and for this last school year was a Yellow Ribbon School, a designation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that allowed the school to waive out-of-state tuition for veterans who are not legal residents of Georgia. Mercer University is also a Yellow Ribbon School and can provide Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits.
What else can we do as individuals? Many vets have a difficult time returning to civilian life. Some need a friend. Some need an advocate to help them through the morass of services that are supposed to be available but seem so out of reach.
Some need someone to fight for them the way they fought for us. Macon’s Vet Center is located at 750 Riverside Drive, 478-477-3813 or 877-927-8387. If you want to help, there may be areas where you can volunteer your time. Many of the benefits due veterans are available for online review, but that doesn’t do much good if you don’t have a computer. However, many libraries in the area do have computers. We just need to connect with the vets needing the help and get them there.
While we honor our war dead, what greater honor can we give them than to honor those who wore our nation’s military uniforms who are still with us?