Originating in the years following the Civil War, Memorial Day has a long history of honoring the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. military. Today, as we remember those who have fallen, let’s also not forget the many soldiers who have and continue to serve our country, especially those injured.
Thanks to advances in battlefield medical care, many more soldiers now survive what were once fatal wounds. But the emotional and physical impact on those injured, and the effect on their families, can at times seem insurmountable. Many face lengthy recovery and transition as they work to reclaim their lives.
This month Sage was proud to be a sponsor of the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, Florida. Using the power of sport, the games are meant to inspire recovery and support rehabilitation for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women. We were equally inspired as we watched these courageous athletes overcome physical and mental challenges to reach victory on the track, in the pool, on the court, and at other sports venues.
The Invictus Games Foundation aims to generate a wider understanding and respect for our wounded warriors. This year’s event featured 500 competitors from 15 nations. It was an amazing five days! Other organizations are also doing their part in the recovery for our military and war veterans. Here are a few ways we can join their efforts:
- Hero Miles Program: Many of those injured must travel far from their homes to receive the special care they need at military and VA hospitals around the country. Do you have frequent flier miles? Donate them to the Hero Miles Program, which helps family members be nearby when a loved one is hospitalized for combat injury, illness, or disease. The program is offered by The Fisher House Foundation, which provides homes where the family members can stay during a soldier’s treatment and rehabilitation.
- Pets for Vets: While not as visible, the emotional scars that come with war cannot be ignored. Pets for Vets aims to heal these wounds by pairing military veterans with shelter animals that have been trained as companions to help reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. The organization can use volunteers with professional writing, public relations and marketing, fundraising, social media, and event planning skills. They are also looking for foster homes for pets, either on a short- or long-term basis.
- Homes for our Troops: The simple comforts of home can become huge obstacles for disabled veterans. Homes for our Troops builds specially adapted homes for severely injured veterans, providing them with more freedom and independence. The charity is looking for local contractors to become “building partners.”
- Hard Hat Heroes: Military to Construction: Making the transition back into the civilian work force is yet another challenge for service members. Organizations such as Build your Future, with support from construction associations, are making this transition easier. Join the growing list of military friendly employers.
As you gather with family and friends this Memorial Day Weekend, enjoy the company of those close to you and remember all of those who have served.
About the Author
Deb Carpenter-Beck is a writer and marketer with more than 25 years of experience in the construction and real estate industries. She often writes about technology and best practices and is passionate about helping contractors and real estate professionals achieve their business goals. You can follow her on Twitter @DebCBConstruct.