Here are some great groups that I support because they do a lot to help our troops. I encourage you to check them out:
- “Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the nation’s first and largest group dedicated to the Troops and Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the civilian supporters of those Troops and Veterans.”
- Soldiers Angels – A volunteer-based nonprofit, that has over 30 different teams supporting all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. They are dedicated to making a visible difference in the lives of our service members and their families.
National Veteran Support Organizations
The following is a list of Veteran Support Organizations. Each organization has a listing for each State, so the best thing to do is to go to each web site and see what makes the most sense for you. I didn’t have a computer for a long time, so I went to the public library, or over to someone I knew that has access to the internet. I am not listing these in any order of priority. You’ll just have to go through the list and see for yourself. You can just type in the names of these organizations but I’ve listed the websites anyway.
- Department of Veteran Affairs– They have a website extensive website. You’ll just have to go there and see what I mean. Again, if it gets too confusing, then stop in at the Vet Center and ask for what it is you’d like to find out about. Once you know exactly what you’re asking, you can find it on the website. Don’t be discouraged.
- Marine Corps League – This group has been active and helping Marines for a long time. I’ve been to a good number of meetings and have always had a good time. If you’re a Marine, check this one out. Family is always welcome.
- Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) – The VFW has been helping Veterans for a long time. There are a lot of Vietnam Vets now in positions to make decisions and help our young warriors in these new wars. You’ll always feel welcomed when you walk through the door. For family members in support of our troops, you might try the Ladies Auxiliary at www.ladiesauxvfw.org because they help with “Operation Uplink”. That’s the program that allows our Veterans to call home from Afghanistan, Iraq and other places.
- American Legion – Like the VFW and the Marine Corps League, they’ve been a great service to Veterans for many years. Check “all” these organizations out. You may be surprised how they can be a place to take shelter from the stress.
- Paralyzed Veterans of America – This group provides a wealth of information on services and assistance for paralyzed Vets. You may want to check with the Vet Center about specifics so they can direct you to the right place in the Veteran Administration.
- Disabled American Veterans – They have a very nice website and do a great deal of work in supporting our disabled Veterans. They help with claims, with evaluation of disabilities and with a homeless Veteran initiative and disaster relief for Vets in situations like hurricane Katrina.
- Vietnam Veterans of America – Even though the name implies Vietnam Veterans, you might want to check this out. All of us Vietnam Vets are welcoming all our new young Warriors back home. You might just feel more comfortable with some of the old War Dogs in this group.
- American Veterans: (AMVETS) – Like the VVA they are here to help all Veterans from all wars.
The following list of support organizations is for the State of New Mexico. Because I live in this state, I was able to get this information and check it out easier. As I get input from Veterans through this website, I’ll include more and more states all the time.
- Resources for Women – This is extremely important to everyone, so when you learn of a good resource specifically for Women Veterans, please keep me posted. Keep in mind, that the last Pentagon report in 2007, stated that approximately 216,400 women are on “active” duty in the five branches of the military. There are an additional 163,800 plus women Reservists, and another 62,900 in the Army and Air National Guards. There are more than 21,000 women stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq at this time. And as far as government reports go, I suspect the numbers of women in combat are a whole lot higher than reported.
- Solace: Crisis Treatment Center (Santa Fe) They are having more and more Women Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress coming to their facility.
- Albuquerque Vet Center: 1600 Mountain Rd. N.W., Albuquerque, NM 87104 (505) 346-6562
- Farmington Vet Center: 4251 E. Main, Suite C, Farmington NM 87402 (505) 327-9684
- Las Cruces Vet Center: 230 S. Water Street, Las Cruces, NM 88001 (575) 523-9826
- Santa Fe Vet Center: 2209 Brothers Rd. Suite 110, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (505) 988-6562
- New Mexico State Field Offices: These are offices set up to help Veterans with assistance at the State level. They can help with benefits, and state programs not funded through the Federal Government.
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Members of the U.S. Armed Services have not only dedicated their lives to their country, but they are also unfortunately the most common victims of mesothelioma due to their increased risk of exposure to asbestos. A large number of veterans have been subjected to asbestos over the last century, and many have and will eventually succumb to mesothelioma.
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Anyone can become addicted to drugs or alcohol, but substance abuse disorders are a particularly significant issue for military veterans. Heavy alcohol consumption is an accepted custom in the military for recreation, dealing with stress, and promoting camaraderie among unit members. In fact, military installations frequently offer alcohol at reduced prices to members in active service.
Serving your country while placing your life at risk every day can change the way you perceive the world. Cigarettes are often portrayed as the easiest way to deal with the stress of being a soldier. However, when the war is over, military veterans are left to fight one more battle, the battle against a vicious enemy called cigarette addiction.