Helping veterans and service men and women

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 10, 2014

Thursday, an Iraq war veteran, Julie Barcheers, was awarded a home in Hide-A-Way Lake by Bank of America and Merrill Lynch in partnership with the Military Warriors Support Foundation organization.

Sixteen military veterans in Mississippi have been lucky enough to receive a home from Bank of America since starting the program in 2012, which allows them to partner with nonprofit organizations to identify veterans and first responders who would most benefit.

It’s wonderful that more and more large companies and organizations are helping veterans, first responders and their families. However, it has to be more than just the large companies that are lending a helping hand to those who have served the country.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are more than 21 million veterans in the United States and 225,000 veterans in Mississippi.

The American Legion, American Red Cross and Veterans of Foreign Wars are just a few organizations that have local ties.

These organizations not only allow veterans to volunteer and help the military community, they also welcome non-military volunteers.

The American Legion volunteers help at veterans’ homes, veterans’ centers like the one in Biloxi and Jackson, and at veterans’ hospitals and trauma centers.

Some people may be interested in helping military personnel stationed overseas. There are many organizations that allow families and individuals to send care packages to those overseas.

While the holidays are good time to send care packages, don’t forget that many service men and woman enjoy receiving these gifts any time of the year and may be in need of a pick-me-up when donations aren’t as frequent.

As Memorial Day draws near, remember to honor veterans and active military personnel in some way, even if it’s just with a thank you.