On November 11 each year, America celebrates Veterans Day — a time dedicated to the brave men and women in uniform who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
At a Veterans Day event this year, Denis McDonough, secretary of the United States Department of Veterans (VA), said, “When we celebrate veterans, we’re celebrating some of the most determined defenders of the American democracy.”
What many people may be unaware of is the battles veterans continue to fight after their military service. A significant number of veterans face illnesses and injuries long after they have completed their service, and some veterans may not realize their military service put them at risk of mesothelioma and other cancers.
Every year, Sokolove Law celebrates Veterans Day as a way to honor and support those who served.
9 Ways to Show Your Support for Veterans in 2023
Your support for veterans on Veterans Day and throughout the year can make a big difference. Listed below are some ways you can honor our veterans this year.
1. Donate to a Trusted Organization
Veterans organizations and other non-profits do important work by supporting soldiers after duty in a wide array of areas, from mental health assistance to career planning and beyond. Some also do research into service-related illnesses like mesothelioma to seek a cure.
This Veterans Day, consider donating to any of the following organizations:
- Disabled American Veterans
- Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
- National Association of Black Veterans
- Paralyzed Veterans of America
- Wounded Warrior Project
2. Attend a Veterans Day Event
Veterans Day events, including concerts, dinners, fairs, and parades, will take place all across the nation on November 11, 2023. These events provide American civilians ample opportunities to demonstrate their support.
When it comes to supporting the men and women who have served in the U.S. military, simply “showing up” is significant and meaningful. It’s perhaps the easiest way to demonstrate your support.
Look through your local newspaper or delve into online searches to find Veterans Day 2023 events in your community.
3. Take the Time to Ask a Veteran About Their Service
The sacrifices veterans make are sometimes under-appreciated. Taking the time to speak with a veteran can help them know their sacrifices remain noticed and appreciated.
A few good questions to ask might be:
- When were you drafted or when did you enlist? If you enlisted, what were some of your reasons for joining the military?
- What were your job(s)/assignment(s) during your service?
- Which war(s) did you serve in (WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf)?
4. Visit a VA Hospital
Donating to charities is one great way to demonstrate your support for American veterans, but you can also donate your time. In honor of Veterans Day this year, consider signing up to volunteer at a local VA hospital.
Although the severity of the coronavirus pandemic has lessened to some degree, consult your local VA hospital and follow any rules or restrictions to prevent any further spread of COVID-19.
5. Deliver Dinner to a Veteran’s Home
The love and care that goes into preparing a home-cooked meal can be quite heartwarming, but some veterans may not be able to take the time to cook for themselves due to illness or other disabilities.
So, in honor of Veterans Day this year, consider making a veteran a home-cooked meal and dropping it off at their front door with instructions for reheating.
6. Fly an American Flag
If you are able to fly the American flag at your home, consider proudly displaying the country’s red, white, and blue to show your support for veterans. Around this time of year, many Americans choose to fly the flag and keep it flying throughout the entire holiday season.
7. Shop at Veteran-Owned Businesses
As veterans return to normal civilian life and begin contributing to the workforce, it is vital that community members find ways to support their work. One great way to show your appreciation is by shopping at a local, veteran-owned business. Check to see if there are any veteran-owned businesses in your neighborhood.
Shopping online is also a great way to support veteran-owned businesses nationwide.
A few popular veteran-owned businesses include:
- Black Rifle Coffee Company (coffee)
- Bravo Sierra (deodorant)
- Combat Flip Flops (footwear)
- Dashfire Beards (facial hair products)
- GORUCK (backpacks/rucksacks)
- Spouse-ly (artwork)
- Teak & Twine (gifts)
- Smoked Bros (barbecue seasonings and spices)
8. Educate Yourself on the Difference Between Memorial Day and Veterans Day
Confusing Memorial Day for Veterans Day is a common mistake many Americans make. The mistake may rightly frustrate veterans and perhaps make them feel others don’t care about or understand the sacrifices they have made.
So, if you haven’t already, be sure to commit to memory the difference between Memorial Day — which honors military members who have died — and Veterans Day, which recognizes and honors all of America’s veterans.
9. Express Your Gratitude
This Veterans Day, take the extra time and effort necessary to let a veteran know their sacrifices are deeply appreciated. Saying “Thank you for your service” may seem like a small gesture, but it can go a long way.
On the surface, it may not be easy to tell how deep a veteran’s scars may go — and the personal work, commitment, and sacrifice it takes to heal those scars cannot be underestimated.
The least any non-service member can do is express their sincerest gratitude for the men and women who were willing to put themselves in harm’s way to help defend America at home and abroad.
Veterans & The Risk of Service-Related Illnesses
During this time of year, it is especially important to remember the veterans whose military assignments unknowingly impacted their health.
Asbestos Exposure & Mesothelioma
Veterans whose mesothelioma diagnosis is connected to the work they performed while in the military may be entitled to compensation.
By filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, these veterans can pursue justice by suing the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products — not the U.S. Armed Forces or government — and receive mesothelioma settlements.
Toxic Water Exposure at Camp Lejeune
Thanks to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, veterans who were stationed at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina for a minimum of 30 days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 may have developed serious illnesses from exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Filing a Camp Lejeune lawsuit does not impact your existing VA benefits in any way.
Veterans diagnosed with service-related health issues may qualify to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Water contamination health conditions may include:
- Aplastic anemia
- Birth defects
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cardiac defects
- Cervical cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Heart attack
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Multiple sclerosis
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Pancreatic cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal cancer
Veterans and their family can continue to receive their current VA benefits in addition to the financial compensation they may receive from a Camp Lejeune settlement. These are two separate forms of compensation, and it is possible to receive both at the same time.
Additionally, Camp Lejeune wrongful death lawsuits can be filed on behalf of veterans who have died but would have been eligible if they were alive today. This means family members can file this type of lawsuit on behalf of loved ones in pursuit of financial compensation.
The timeline to get a Camp Lejeune payout will vary based on different factors in each individual case, including when your claim is filed, whether your case settles or goes to court, and if you pursue an Elective Option payout from the Department of Navy.
Don't miss a thing — get regular updates on Camp Lejeune litigation and settlements.
Military Burn Pits
Similarly, veterans of the Iraq War who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn between March 19, 2003 and December 15, 2011 may have been exposed to toxic fumes and chemicals released into the air at military burn pits.
These fumes and chemicals have impacted the health of many veterans of the Iraq War, increasing their risk of developing several types of cancer.
Military Firefighters & PFAS Exposure
Another group of veterans who are at-risk for serious and life-threatening illnesses are firefighters who served in the military.
As part of their job, firefighters sometimes use a type of foam called aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), which contains chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
PFAS exposure has been known to cause several types of cancer and other serious health conditions, including:
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Renal or kidney cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Thyroid disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Uterine or endometrial cancer
Veterans who have been exposed to firefighter foam and as a result developed one or more of the above health conditions may be entitled to AFFF settlements for the harm they have endured.
If you or someone you love is affected by these health issues after military service, Sokolove Law is here to help you get the financial assistance you need. Call us at (800) 995-1212 today to learn how we can help.
Get Help from a VA-Accredited Attorney
At Sokolove Law, we are committed to supporting U.S. veterans. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a serious illness in connection with military service, you may be eligible for financial compensation.
For over 40 years, Sokolove Law has secured $9.1 Billion for our clients, including thousands of veterans who devoted their careers to the military.
In fact, our lawyers have helped over 8,300 clients with asbestos-related diseases and more than 30,000 families impacted by Camp Lejeune water contamination.
By working with Sokolove Law, you can partner with a VA-accredited attorney who has years of experience helping veterans and their families.
Call us at (800) 995-1212 now for a free case review.