November 11, 2011 > VeteransAid
By Simon Wong
Veterans carry an immense burden after they return from a combat zone and struggle to lead normal lives, haunted by their experiences of war. The Veterans' Administration does a superb job of caring for returning service personnel but there are also approximately 60,000 organizations in the United States trying to meet their needs; most have limited resources, are underfunded and overwhelmed.
The VeteransAid Foundation (VAF) is a national, umbrella agency that was established in 2010 to coordinate fundraising, raise awareness of the issues and solve problems facing 23 million US veterans and their families. VAF is heard through its partnerships with thousands of organizations that serve the veteran community. It serves as a fundraising platform and global social network through which the collective effort of all can help exorcise the psychological demons of war and help heal the physical scars.
Everyone faces the same issues - healthcare (physical and mental); housing and homelessness; education, employment and job training; family services; women's issues and financial services - but often veterans find themselves less able to cope or know where to turn. According to official statistics, the divorce rate among enlisted families has increased by 53 percent since 2004; one in five returning veterans suffers from chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; veterans account for approximately a third of the adult homeless population.
"They Stood Up for Us, Now Stand Up for Them" is VAF's motto. Americans should care for the millions of men and women who fought for the freedoms we take for granted and who live quietly in our communities, often enduring the effects of war for a lifetime without help. Eighty-five percent of returning veterans "leave" the system but, for many, problems surface long after deployment. Twenty percent of the nation's population consists of veterans and their families. Expecting them to cope alone merely lays the foundation for widespread social problems. "Make Every Day Veterans Day," says one VAF sponsor.
Spectaculars, such as "VeteransAid: The Concert," which is planned for May/June 2012 and will feature artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga, corporate sponsorship, cause marketing programs and national social movements, will help VAF achieve its annual fundraising goal of approximately $200M. These monies will be distributed to support programs and services that have a lasting benefit on the lives of veterans and promote better living conditions, financial stability, medical and psychological improvements and overall healthy individuals and families.
For more information, sponsorship opportunities and to donate online, visit www.VeteransAid.us or email info@VeteransAid.us. Alternatively, text "VETS" to 80888 to donate $10 for the Veterans Aid Foundation, Inc.