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This Week’s LION: Junior Patriots

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the United States suddenly became very patriotic. Yet, we are now decades away from that date. The Lycoming County 911 Motorcycle Ride has young people riding in this event that were even born after that day. That same patriotic impulses have been shown in the past couple of weeks, with many young people volunteering to put out flags on veterans’ graves for Memorial Day.

They are also demonstrating their appreciation for our veterans’ sacrifice from their participation in a recent state essay contest. One such student was Elizabeth Ravert, a sophomore at Montgomery Area High School, who was the winner of that school’s Americanism Essay Contest. Her essay went on to win the Tri-County Award and even placed third for the entire state of Pennsylvania! Her insights are so worthwhile; everyone could benefit from hearing them.

The Award-Winning Essay:

How can we support families who provide care to their Veterans? There are many ways we can provide support to families who provide care to their veterans. They say it takes a village to raise children; I say it takes a village to support our veterans. You can help big or can help small. Think about a time when you were sick or down with an injury and would’ve appreciated help with something and do that for a veteran or their family.

Some of the simplest tasks that most people take for granted can become difficult for families of veterans. We can support families and veterans by simply volunteering to cook them a meal. We can help provide transportation to and from appointments; we can offer childcare for families so that they can attend appointments with their veterans and not have to worry about the safety of their children. We can simply drop them a letter or card in the mail or even a text message to simply let them know that they are not alone.

There are a lot of support programs available for veterans, but sometimes people don’t know where to look or how to find them. We can offer our time to help them search for programs. We can help raise money to match veterans with support animals.

Are you good at computer skills? For instance, using Microsoft programs or other online resources. You can volunteer your time and skills to help them get back into the workforce.

We can even help by offering to do simple tasks like housework or yard work. If you have the skill set, you can volunteer some of your time to help with major home repairs or adapt a home to make it accessible for a wounded warrior. You can even get involved with organizations that build new homes for veterans and wounded warriors. We can help provide homes for veterans that are homeless and didn’t have a home to return to.

We should not let the people that fight for our country and risk their lives come back home to the states and be homeless and alone during the hardest transition back to normal civilian life. We can also help them reach out to their families. You can use personal contacts or business networks to help lobby our government for better healthcare and assistance to our veterans. You can donate airline miles to help veterans gain access to treatments that might not be accessible where they live. You can get involved with your local USO branch, which helps provide valuable support to veterans and their families both at home and abroad.

This is just a small list of things we can do and ways we can help veterans and their families. Even the smallest of acts can make the biggest impact.