Memorial Day means many things to many people – it’s a time to honor the men and women who have served this country, it marks an unofficial start to summer, and serves as a time to gather with family and friends. But for many veterans, military personnel and their families, this Memorial Day also marks a year of harsh economic challenges, challenges that have gripped this nation since 2008 and are hitting them especially hard this year.
The nation’s unemployment rate still hovers above 8 percent, but among young veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan the number has now soared to more than three times that at 29 percent.
Americans are thankful everyday for the great sacrifices made on their behalf and now it is our duty to support our troops upon their return. We owe them a better chance to pursue the American dream for which they have done so much to preserve. And there are ways to help right now that can have a meaningful impact for military personnel, veterans and their families.
In many cases, budget counseling and financial planning can go a long way toward helping servicemen and women make the most of earnings they receive while deployed. The dynamics of supporting a household while on active duty can be especially complex, as even the process of paying routine bills can become a challenge. And budgeting properly in preparation for the return home from military service can mark the difference in making ends meet or not.
That is why it is critical to raise awareness about the free resources and services that are currently available to military personnel and their families such as the National Guard’s Yellow Ribbon Program which helps thousands of veterans prepare and manage their finances for pre- and post-deployment.
There are already multiple stresses and reasons for military personnel and their families to be worried while overseas, and finances should not be one of them.
This Memorial Day honor the military men and women in your life by informing them of the resources available and encouraging them to be financial prepared for pre and post deployment. Brave veterans and their families are deserving of every chance to succeed and giving them that chance may be the best form of thanks America can offer.