Flexibility: High

Social Engagement: High

What’s What: People who have served deserve the best of everything. You can give of yourself to try to make that closer to reality. Can you think of a more fulfilling way to spend your time? We’re not sure that we can….

Amava Take: Whether or not you’ve served yourself or are personally connected to someone who has, there aren’t enough ways to thank people who have protected and defended the freedom of others. You can spend holiday time with some real-life heroes, do some gardening, house painting or driving for a Veteran in your community, or help a Veteran archive his or her personal story of service, among other things.

From the Front Lines:

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these jobs?

Everyone has something to give to Veterans. Respect and generosity are where it begins.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

Always listen before you talk. You might hear some remarkable stories or pick up some life lessons that are so valuable.

What’s a typical daily schedule like?

There are so many flexible programs for volunteering. The key is just connecting to the right organization.

From the Trenches:

What’s the most satisfying part of the job?

Being in the presence of people who gave so much to this country.

How would you describe the hard parts?

Seeing injuries or PTSD can be upsetting, but it’s not about me.

What made you decide to do this work?

It is so inspiring to see people stand up for their ideals and give of themselves. Veterans ask for so little and aren’t always treated as well as they should be, so just doing what I can to make that better feels incredibly important.

Special Requirements:  Requirements vary, but generally you should be over 18 unless you are accompanied by an adult. If you are doing something specialized, like teaching or driving, you’d need to be appropriately qualified; the people who run the organization you volunteer with can help you figure that out.

Finding a Position: There are so many organizations you can connect with. Many nonprofits list nationwide opportunities to volunteer for veterans. There is an organization devoted specifically to helping paralyzed veterans that has volunteer opportunities. One organization recruits volunteers for events, gardening and other tasks at their homes for military families who have loved ones in the hospital. If you own a business you can hire veterans, or you can help assist them with resumes, mock interviews and job searches. If you love history or writing, you can help a veteran add his or her story to a national archive. Or, you can volunteer to be a guardian with the Honor Flight Network, which flies veterans to visit war memorials.