There is a verse that instructs people on the various virtues, and it ends with “…, and the greatest of these is charity.” (Corinthians 13:13). In these times of confinement because of COVID-19, the truth of this statement is apparent. Helping veterans is only right as they have served our country. Thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Veterans Health Administration has recently received $17.2 billion to assist veterans. Here, then, are ways to help veterans during the coronavirus outbreak.
Information Given To Veterans Must Be Accurate
There are some scams and misinformation on COVID-19, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) debunks the myths surrounding the Coronavirus. Also, the Federal Trade Commission provides information on scams; it also provides people ways to report if someone tries to scam them. Gathering this information is, therefore, essential.
The Center for Disease Control, along with Apple, has developed a self-assessment tool to determine if a person should seek medical care for virus symptoms. There is a free app that can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store or Google Play. This app has a self-assessment tool that users or aides can follow. Veterans or their family members can answer a series of questions on their health and exposure. The responses will determine if there is a need to seek care for symptoms of the virus. (This self-assessment can also be accessed online at www.apple.com/covid19.)
Operation Family Caregiver
Operation Family Caregiver offers confidential one-on-one virtual coaching to those caregivers of military and veterans across the country who feel more comfortable speaking directly with professionals. This service is free. (Caregiver Support Line, 855-260-3274).
AARP has joined the Elizabeth Dole Foundation in offering strategies that can aid the caregivers of military personnel and veterans to tackle the most critical issues regarding veterans’ mental and physical health. Operation Family Caregiver provides confidential one-on-one virtual coaching to caregivers of military personnel and veterans anywhere in the country.
Blue Star Families
The organization named Blue Star Families has partnered with the Association of Defense Communities in providing information, resources, and expertise to the families of veterans and military personnel.
Vet Centers that are extensions of the VA medical centers are available to veterans and active-duty service members, along with their families. Group, marriage, family, and individual counseling, along with care coordination, are available. Call centers are open 24/7 at 877-927-8387.