Sometimes it can seem like there is nowhere to turn when you need help. But if you are a veteran or family member of a veteran facing challenges in your everyday life, you are not alone. In addition to government- and senior-based resources, there are hundreds of veterans and military service organizations ready to help your veteran family. Some are local; others are national. Some have very specific veteran interests; others involve the entire family.
Military Order of the Purple Heart
One of the of recognized congressionally chartered veterans service organizations is the Military Order of the Purple Heart of the U.S.A. Inc. Formed in 1932, the organization protects the interests of veterans who have earned the Purple Heart as well as the families of veterans. Composed exclusively of Purple Heart recipients, it is the only veterans service organization composed strictly of combat veterans. However, you do not need to be a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) to seek assistance.
Not only do veterans and military service organizations provide assistance with benefits and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) claims, advocacy, career counseling, temporary financial assistance, and advice on medical issues, but they also offer mentorship, opportunities to share stories of strength and recovery, and family support networks.
Through a nationwide network of 73 service offices, the MOPH’s national service officers obtained nearly $270 million in VA benefits for their clients; submitted more than 16,000 claims to the VA; filed more than 1,100 Notices of Disagreement; processed 347 appeals; appeared at 166 hearings; and made more than 1,650 outreach visits to Vet Centers, hospitals and MOPH chapters in 2016.
Through the Veteran Affairs Voluntary Services program, MOPH volunteers donated more than 150,054 hours of their time at VA health care facilities throughout the country, saving the Veterans Health Administration more than $3 million this past fiscal year.
Purple Heart Day
The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or who die of wounds received in action. The decoration was created by Gen. George Washington on Aug. 7, 1782, and was awarded to only three known soldiers during the Revolutionary War. As of 2015, there are an estimated 1.75 million Purple Heart recipients.
Every year on Aug. 7, Americans remember and honor the brave men and women who were either wounded on the battlefield or paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives. The commemoration of Purple Heart Day is a reminder to all Americans that all gave some; some gave all.