Those currently serving in the military, veterans, and their families often don’t take advantage of the many programs and channels of support available to them. Doing so does not have to be a challenge. We found several resources offered by the U.S. government and a number of independent nonprofit organizations that are available to help. We break them down here by category–from family services to financial help.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) – Founded in 1994, TAPS is a round-the-clock assistance center for those who’ve lost a loved one in the military, “regardless of the relationship to the deceased or the circumstance of the death,” according to the organization’s Website. TAPS offers peer-based emotional support, case work assistance, crisis interventions and grief trauma resources.
Blue Star Families – A prominent advocacy organization, Blue Star Families has established themselves on Capitol Hill, representing individuals whose loved ones have served or are serving active duty. The organization offers support services and resources for family members.
VFW National Home for Children – A support program that offers assistance for single parents, families dealing with loved ones being rehabilitated and re-trained, and families living on the National Home campus.
MilitaryOneSource.com – Designed for military families who need assistance with a broad range of issues, including education, relocation, parenting and stress. The free services are provided by the Department of Defense.
Exceptional Family Member Program – For active-duty military families who have a family member with special medical or educational needs.
Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) – A go-to organization for compensation and benefit matters for all members of the military community; offers expert advice and guidance to members.
Emergency Financial Assistance – A partnership between the Red Cross and branches of the military, the program helps to provide financial aid for emergency travel for a service member or a family member in times of crisis along with other needs.
Army Emergency Relief – An independent nonprofit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to active and retired soldiers and their dependents in times of need.
VA Home Loans – The Department of Veteran Affairs Home Guarantee Home Loan Program. Loans are made by private lenders to eligible veterans but with competitive rates. The lender is protected against loss up to the amount of the guarantee if they fail to repay the loan.
Department of Veteran Affairs – Business - Annually, the VA offers help to veteran-owned business and works with them to locate government and corporate procurement opportunities.
Veterans Educational Assistance Program (VEAP) – Service members can elect to contribute to this education benefit program through monthly deductions from their pay. Contributions are matched by the military– $2 for every dollar you contribute.
Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) – Provides up to $6,000 in financial aid for military spouses pursing degree programs, licenses or credentials.
The Admiral Mike Boorda Seaman-to-Admiral Educational Assistance Program (NMCRS)- Makes grants up to $3,000 in interest-free loans available to eligible active duty service members accepted to a select group of programs.
Army Reserve National Guard Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA) Program - Members of the National Guard are eligible for tuition assistance. The National Guard offers financial support for secondary education, including up to 100% tuition assistance.
Post 9/11 GI Bill – Provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after Sept. 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.
Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) – Before receiving medical benefits, service people must enroll in DEERS, a computerized database of military sponsors, families and others who are entitled to healthcare benefits.
National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – The center aims to help U.S. veterans and others through research, education, and training on trauma and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Coming Home Project – Provides expert care, support, education, and stress management tools for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, service people, their families, and their service providers.
TRICARE – A military healthcare program that services members, retirees and their families worldwide.
Disabled American Veterans – A support organization that offers a wide range of services, including volunteers who provide veterans free rides to and from VA medical facilities.
Read more in our Military to Mainstream series: