With Memorial Day around the corner, it’s important that we salute the veterans who have risked and are currently risking their lives for our freedom. Memorial Day is a celebration and a reminder of the sacrifices these men and women have made, but there are other ways to honor veterans as well.
Veterans coming back from overseas have historically struggled transitioning back to everyday life. In fact, according to a March 2013 report by Time Magazine, of a randomly surveyed 4,000 veterans 16 percent said they were unemployed. The same article reported that 60 percent of veterans have stated that transitioning their military service to civilian employment was a significant challenge.
It is important that we as a society do everything we can to accommodate these individuals. Luckily small business, including the vending industry, has been an advocate in providing resources for these heroes. The U.S. Small Business Association provides veterans with a variety of resources including loans and grants as well as small business assistance to veterans including a number of outreach centers and offices dedicated to providing assistance to veterans looking to join the workforce after duty.
Also, Vending For Veterans, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing veterans, disabled or able bodied, vending machines to earn a self-supporting income. Partnered with Automatic Vending System Ltd., the program uses donations to provide veterans vending machines at no cost, allowing them to start up vending operations.
In addition to providing military veterans with jobs, we must not forget those still serving. Holiday House Distributing, a distributing and manufacturing company for OCS, vending and water services located in Land O’ Lakes, Fla., is donating a portion of the proceeds from their new line of water filters to helping military families. The proceeds go to the Fisher House Foundation, Inc., an organization dedicated to helping military families throughout the country by providing “comfort homes” enabling those families to be close to an enlisted military loved one during hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease or injury.
We at Automatic Merchandiser and VendingMarketWatch.com have also joined the cause, donating ad space to the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization whose vision is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service member in our nation’s history.
As we gear in for our long weekends and plan time to spend with family and friends, let us not forget those serving and who have served to protect our right to do just that. These men and women risk their lives to provide us with the liberty to live ours. Finding ways to help them when they come home is the least that we can do. For the military veteran vending operators out there, thank you for your service and keep doing what you’re doing.
For a list of non-specific military charities visit the military charity association page here.