Life after military may be challenging for many veterans. Thankfully, civilians who have service members as loved ones and friends have a chance to make a positive impact on their lives like never before, through various charity programs, civic institutions and other groups dedicated to improving the spiritual and material lives of returning veterans. Essentials like military life insurance is obviously a must, though it is simple acts of love and charity that can help a returning veteran feel at home in a warm and hospitable habitation in civilian life. 

Trip designed to convey gratitude
One way to demonstrate your solidarity with a veteran may be to follow the method employed by Honor Flight Network, which arranges for World War II veterans to see the memorial dedicated to the veterans' sacrifice in Washington, D.C. According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, a number of veterans would have been unable to visit the memorial without the assistance that this nonprofit provides. Commuting to Washington for a veteran living in Seattle or Maine can be very unfeasible and especially difficult in the still sluggish U.S. economy. 

The nonprofit has attempted to ameliorate this – in the process allowing more than 300 veterans of the war to see the memorial in Washington. 

"I'm really impressed with the people who have come out to see us and to help," said the U.S. Army veteran., Bob Sears, a veteran of the war, according to the source, "There's so many people who came … who care."

Honoring veterans by contributing to parades and charities
According to the New York Daily News, Sen. Chuck Schumer recently called for a parade in New York City to celebrate the sacrifice of veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, in an area of New York called the Canyon of Heroes, which is reputed to be imbued with a historical spirit.

"With the war in Afghanistan winding down, now is the time to keep with longstanding American tradition and kick off a campaign for the first New York City welcome home parade for troops that served in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Schumer, according to the source.

Parades can be a fitting testament to beloved veterans, demonstrating a nod of support while having the added benefit of avoiding overtly political statements. These wars are still fresh in the American psyche, presenting tributes that will probably show much more nuance than a tribute to veterans of WWII, the latter a conflict that is popularly seen as a necessary and just cause among Europeans and Americans. 

"The brave men and women who have selflessly served our nation with courage and skill in Iraq and Afghanistan deserve a recognition for their sacrifice," said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, as quoted by the source, "I stand with Senator Schumer in his call for a parade to honor our veteran heroes, and New York City would be proud to host this important event."

The support of leading New York politicians may usher in a successful parade, one that pays a fitting tribute to veterans in America's most recent wars. 

Seeking out reputable military charities can also be an excellent source for helping veterans. Benefits for veterans are helped significantly by the Veterans Administration, but citizens can also do their part by tracking down viable and transparent charities for veterans by visiting sites like Great Nonprofits that provide indispensable links to various charities for veterans, such as the Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Troop Appreciation and Soldiers' Angels.

The time has never been more fortuitous to help a veteran with a return to civilian life, in the process cultivating solidarity and contributing to a warm sense of community.