Based on a KAV article by Natalie Schroeder and Andrea Bowling.
Researched & written by Ruth MacDougall.
For Veterans, help from other Veterans is one of the most valuable sources of help. This is because Veterans best understand the experiences and challenges of other Veterans.
Service members share a strong sense of camaraderie and trust with one another. Thus, many Veterans are eager to help fellow Veterans. When Veterans help other Veterans, both sides benefit. People receive the help they need. And those who help, often gain a sense of satisfaction and purpose.
The ways in which Veterans provide help to other Veterans are endless. Here is an overview of seven organizations and programs featuring Veterans helping Veterans.
Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans (MSHV) works to end Veteran homelessness. It provides housing help, support services, and an employment program. A Vietnam War Veteran and a Gulf War Veteran founded MSHV.
INFORMATION & GENERAL HELP
Know A Vet? (KAV) provides information and help sources for 90+ issues Veterans have earned help for. It offers a free service to Veterans, their families, and caregivers to help sort out issues and government and/or community help options. Champions provide that service via email, social media, and phone. KAV Outreach helps Veterans and Veteran Surviving Spouses become aware of benefits they may not know they are entitled to. A 100% Disabled Vietnam Combat Veteran founded KAV.
Code of Support Foundation has two programs providing support to military members, Veterans, and their families.
1. PATRIOTlink is a database of free, screened resources of help for the military and Veteran community
2. Case Coordination provides Case Managers and Peer Navigators that give one-on-one support. Regardless of era and discharge status, this program helps with:
- crisis relief
- income and housing issues
- education and employment
- financial counseling
- disability claims
A wartime Army wife and a Vietnam Veteran founded COSF.
Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) helps Veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. Help from PVA includes medical assistance, legal services, caregiver support, connection to national service officers, and more. A band of service members who returned from World War II with spinal cord injuries founded PVA.
Peer Support Groups for Veterans | WWP offers peer led support groups and events for Veterans. They bring the Veteran community together through support, and opportunities to support others. A Marine Corp Veteran founded WWP (Wounded Warrior Project).
CAREER PLANNING & JOB PLACEMENT
Warriors Ethos provides career planning, professional development, and job placement for Veterans. The organization guides interaction between a participant and the civilian business community. It has a goal of ensuring that everyone in their program reaches job placement that leads to the “next phase of a very successful civilian career.” An Army Veteran founded Warriors Ethos.
PURPOSE, COMMUNITY, IDENTITY
Team Rubicon serves communities as an international disaster relief organization. Military training, skills, and experience make Veterans well-suited to help in crises. The organization strives to give Veterans three things often lost after leaving service:
Two Marine Corp Veterans founded Team Rubicon
Code of Support Foundation. (n.d.) [home page]. https://www.codeofsupport.org/
Intelligent Waves, LLC. (n.d.). Jared Shepard. Retrieved March 12, 2022, from https://intelligentwaves.com/jared-shepard/
Know A Vet? (n.d.). Helping A Vet. Retrieved March 12, 2022, from https://www.knowavet.org/helping-a-vet/
Know A Vet? (n.d.). [home page]. https://www.knowavet.org/
Marines. (n.d.). Jake Wood, Team Rubicon. https://www.marines.com/explore-the-corps/blog/community-victories/team-rubicon.html
Melia, John. (2008, June 1). Wounded Warrior Project History. NonProfitPro. https://www.nonprofitpro.com/article/wounded-warrior-project-history-107420/all/
Mental Floss. (2015, December 3). 7 Scientific Benefits of Helping Others. https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/71964/7-scientific-benefits-helping-others
Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans. (n.d.). Working to End Veteran Homelessness. Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://www.helpaveteran.org/
Paralyzed Veterans of America. (n.d.) [home page]. https://pva.org/
[Photograph of 4 people helping a fifth across a chasm]. (n.d.). https://www.gettyimages.com/
Team Rubicon. (n.d.). Our Mission. Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://teamrubiconusa.org/mission/
Warriors Ethos. (n.d.). We Are Warriors. https://www.warriorsethos.org/
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Team Rubicon. Retrieved March 13, 2022 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_Rubicon
Wounded Warrior Project. (n.d.). Peer Support Groups for Veterans. Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/programs/peer-support