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Make Every Day Independence Day

Every community in America has military veterans and family members of veterans who need assistance. But many of us aren’t sure exactly how, or where to start. Let’s change all of that, starting right now, with a few ideas and a little encouragement for you to take the first step.

Start with your local VFW.
(Volunteer Commitment: Flexible)

One of the best places to start is with your local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post. You can find your local post at VFW.org, and contact them directly to learn about volunteer opportunities, outreach programs and upcoming events. Each year, members of the VFW and its Auxiliaries donate more than 11 million volunteer hours to community service projects.

Be a Hero to Our Wounded Heroes.
(Volunteer Commitment: 2+ hours/week)

Disabled veterans, including many who suffer from mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), face unique challenges upon returning to the workforce. Since 1920, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) has been serving veterans and their families, assisting with benefit claims and providing more than 700,000 rides for medical appointments. They also help veterans find meaningful employment through job fairs and employment resources. Put your skills to use as a DAV volunteer, here.

Give Veterans Their Wings.
(Volunteer Commitment: Varies depending on skills)

Freedom Honor Flight, based in LaCrosse, Wisconsin has one simple goal - “fly our veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials that stand in their honor.” Veterans are chosen on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to WWII veterans and veterans with a terminal illness. Learn more about helping this cause here.

Answer a Few Questions and Prepare for Deployment.
(Volunteer Commitment: Varies depending on skills)

Designed to help volunteers “serve those who served” MilServ.org lets you search for volunteer opportunities based on your personal background, experience and desired areas of focus. After completing a brief questionnaire, you can view available opportunities close to your home.

Serve the Brave from your Home Sweet Home.
(Volunteer Commitment: Flexible/Self Motivated)

On the local level, you can make an immediate impact by helping veterans find ways to live independently. Disabled veterans often need rides to doctor appointments and help with yard work or shopping. For veterans returning from service and in need of a job, you can help them practice for upcoming interviews or invite them to join your online professional network.

“Look, a deer!”

Local wildlife experts need your help tracking and documenting animals in your community, and land conservationists need a hand keeping protected areas safe. Got a few minutes to help? We’ve got a few ideas.