Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Honoring Those Who Serve on the 10th Anniversary of 9-11

Honoring those who serve on the 10th Anniversary of 9-11

This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001.  As we quickly approach this momentous anniversary, people across the country will honor this day by serving in their community.  Most of us can remember where we were and what we were doing on that day.  As an army reservist, I immediately knew that this event would change my life forever.  It’s hard to believe that 10 years has gone by since that horrific event.  For me, these past 10 years included deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Ft. Dix and the Pentagon.  Since 911, only 1% of the U.S. population has served in the military, and for us, these 10 years have been an incredible burden on our employers and our families.  Some have paid the ultimate price.  Others bear the scars of visible and invisible wounds.  As Americans, we all have something to contribute that can help ease the burden for these veterans, service men and women, and their families. 

Here are some ideas for you to consider:
  1. Join the Give an Hour network as a volunteer (www.giveanhour.org) - or any other pro bono effort in your community.
  2. Commit to give a talk in your community (church, school, civic group, etc.) to raise awareness about the issues affecting military members and their families.
  3. Ask your church to provide free office space to a licensed clinician or licensed pastoral counselor willing to volunteer pro bono counseling for service members, veterans and their families.    
  4. Host an appreciation potluck for those who serve (veterans, first responders, military and families) and invite the local community to your event.
  5. Volunteer at and support your local homeless shelter.  Many homeless men and women are veterans.
  6. Visit wounded warriors at your local hospital, Warrior Transition Unit, community clinic or military installation.
  7. Help your church college and career group plan fun activities geared towards young service members and veterans.  Integrate young vets into your church’s college/career group.
  8. Plan a military spouses day out and offer free child care/babysitting for families of deployed service members (great opportunity for teens and grandparents to volunteer).
  9. Adopt a deployed unit.  Send care packages and letters.
  10. Post your act of service as a tribute on www.911day.org.

Together, we can turn a tragic event meant for evil into something good.

Eric Rogers, MSW, and his family.
Eric is the Executive Director for Give an Hour, a non-profit providing free mental health counseling for post 911 service members, veterans and their families.  He still serves in the army reserves.  For more information about Give an Hour and the National Day of Service, visit

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