Service members and veterans may have a hard time navigating some of the important systems that help them maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle. If they don’t receive the assistance they need, it can have a harmful impact on their health and other aspects of life. There are many things we can do to help improve the lives of service members, veterans, and their families.
Navigating Health Care
A key way to assist service members and veterans is to help them understand their available health care resources. Medicare and the VA system do not coordinate benefits, but both are a useful tool to maintain health. Having both Medicare and VA insurance provides more healthcare options and second opinions. Also, in case of an emergency, they can rely on whatever services are closer and available. Moreover, in the event VA benefits change, they can fall back on Medicare, and Medicare Part D can provide needed medications that are not covered under VA insurance. It’s important that recipients of VA coverage and Medicare understand that they cannot use both services simultaneously; they must visit VA-run institutions to use VA services, and they can visit a civilian facility to use Medicare.
Many stores, hotels, and restaurants provide discounts for active service members, veterans, and their family. In most cases, all that is needed is a qualifying ID to receive 10 percent or more off of goods and services. Banks and credit lenders will waive fees for active military, and some will discount the fees for veterans. Certain days of the year, some restaurants will provide free meals to active military and veterans. Retailers, who often have large sales on holidays like Memorial Day, will include an added discount for veterans.
When in doubt, it’s best to encourage the service members, veterans, and their families to ask owners and managers if they provide special rates for those who serve in the military or have served, or to go online and research before they make a purchase. By doing this, they don’t have to spend as much money on going out and doing fun things with their friends and family.
Active service members, veterans, and families who are not engaged in the community or don’t have a network of support can benefit from community activities. When people honor veterans, veterans feel supported and welcome. When active duty service members and veterans are able to gather together, they often feel a sense of camaraderie. Associations and events are assembled with the mission of getting service members, veterans, and families involved in the community, and they provide a wonderful atmosphere to socialize and link people.
Active duty servicemen and women who are about to transition out of the military and veterans under the age of retirement may need some assistance transitioning back into the civilian workforce. The US military men and women are some of the most highly trained and skilled workers in the world. If you know of anyone who is hiring, link them to the service members and veterans you know. Many states offer free public services that can help link veterans to the local workforce and find jobs that will serve them and their families.
When it comes to service members, veterans and their families, it’s an honor to give back in some way that shows appreciation and gratitude for the ultimate sacrifice they make and have made. Helping them through the confusing healthcare process, encouraging them to take advantage of discounts, getting them connected to community activities, and helping them transition into the job market are all ways to that each of us can do that.
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