Veterans Day is a time of year many Americans ask how they can help recognize those who currently serve and have served our country.
Veterans live in every community across the United States, and it’s more likely than not that a credit union has veterans in its membership — even if the organization isn’t headquartered near a military base or doesn’t hold military affiliation in its field of membership.
Our nation’s veterans deserve support, and here are a few ways credit unions can provide that.
Callahan's veterans. Above: Callahan co-founder Chip Filson in 1969. Below, account manager Mike Zaleski (middle right) in 2012.
Hire A Vet
The No. 1 thing a credit union can do for veterans is give them a job. Veterans come with a strong work ethic as well as excellent teamwork and problem-solving skills. But veterans also have other skills that are directly applicable to working in a credit union. For example, most soldiers are trained on how to keep information — like a member’s finances — private and avoid information breaches.
Check out these sites to locate potential hires and learn more about understanding the resumes of applicants with military backgrounds:
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs — The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains an employment toolkit with a wealth of information. This is an essential bookmark for anyone looking to bring veterans on staff.
Military OneSource — A one-stop shop to learn more about veterans, how they transition into the civilian work force, and programs available to them.
Veterans Hiring Toolkit – The Department of Labor offers a guide to help companies attract and retain veteran employees.
Hire Heroes USA – A great job board to post available positions.
If your organization isn’t actively recruiting new employees, one of the best ways to help veterans in need is to volunteer. Personally, my favorite way to volunteer is to help out at a nearby veteran’s home. During my time in the service, my unit volunteered at the Grand Rapids Home For Veterans. Veterans in these facilities are grateful to have help, and they have great conversation — and some of the funniest stories — to share.
Want to volunteer? Start here:
Senior Veterans Service Alliance – This site maintains a list of veteran’s homes to assist in by state, making it easy to locate one near your credit union.
DAV.org – A great resource for locating places to volunteer to help veterans. This also includes a way to volunteer for small, but necessary chores (like grocery shopping) for veterans.
Talk with members. The single best way to locate opportunities to help veterans is to ask your members who are veterans. If the military is good at anything, it’s communicating and getting information into the right hands. If your organization wants to help veterans, make it known and Joe Snuffy will share the information with the Private News Network while doing something for the good idea fairy and eventually the LT will overhear and beat feet over to the commander for brownie points. Get it? No? Veterans will, so just ask. (Or, check out this post for terms only military people understand).