Dear John: You seem to be in the business of helping people. I was wondering if you could help me.
I’ve been feeling very desperate and depressed lately as my wife and I have been struggling to keep the rent paid, the lights on, and the kids fed. I work full time in a good union job but my wife has been underemployed for the last year.
During that time, we’ve blown up our credit to make ends meet until she starts a new full-time job in September.
I’m a four-year Army veteran who served in Iraq. I have no service-related disabilities, nor did I do 20 years to retire. So I feel like most veteran’s charities and the US government really don’t care about those of us who fit this profile.
We just get a pat on the butt and a “good job” and go our merry little ways.
Do you know of any organizations, charities, government programs that are out there to help us — not the homeless or disabled vets, but those of us who are struggling and could use a hand?
I didn’t sign up expecting anything in return, but I feel like I earned the right to at least ask for help. J.F.
Dear J.F.: Sorry that things aren’t going well for you at the moment. But September isn’t far off, so that’s something to keep your spirits up.
I have calls in to several charities that might help. But in order to save time, I think you should call yourself and scope them out.
The first was my favorite: the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which mostly helps catastrophically injured veterans and first responders.
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But it also helps people like you who are in less dire shape physically.
Here are three more organizations you might want to contact. As I said, I have calls in and will provide your contact information when they get back to me.
- Military Warriors Support Foundation (militarywarriors.org).
- USA Cares (usacares.org), which provides post-9/11 military families with financial and advocacy support in their time of need.
- Soldiers Wish (soldierswish.org/our-mission), whose mission, it says, is “to identify unmet needs of veterans of military service regardless of branch or rank and identify or provide resources to meet those needs by providing needed support directly to the veteran service members and/or their families in order that such service members can lead normal and productive lives.
Hope that helps. If I hear from any of these organizations I’ll get in touch with you. Check back with me and let me know how you are doing. Good luck. Things will work out.
(Readers: If you have any ideas for J.F., please contact me and I will pass along the good ones.)