Many Pacific Northwest residents may not even realize it, but Washington State alone is home to eight military bases. These bases are run by the Air Force, Air National Guard, Navy, and Coast Guard, with one base run jointly by the Air Force and Army whose varied missions include combat, aviation, support, training, intelligence, and more.
Along with many active-duty military, our region has a large share of veterans. The term “veteran” refers to a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released (under conditions other than dishonorable).
Reintegration into civilian life takes time, helpers, and nuance. At Juniper, we give annually and have participated in events concerning two, veteran-oriented nonprofits that deserve the spotlight: Everyone for Veterans, and Montana-based Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation. The work of both these organizations is transformative, one for its charitable dentistry and the other for its ability to reconnect veterans to comfort through experiences in nature.
Everyone for Veterans – Everyone for Veterans empowers veterans to lead healthy and fulfilled lives by providing them with resources, support, and comprehensive dental care.
E4V mobilizes civilians and professionals to support our greatest national treasure: our veterans and their families. It serves eligible veterans (and spouses) who are experiencing financial difficulties. It works with civilians and professionals to provide free comprehensive (non-emergency) dental care, or goods and services to eligible veterans of the U.S Armed Forces and their spouses.
As many of its recipients will attest, obtaining dental care once released from service is extremely challenging if not impossible. The work of E4V connects dentists to veterans and allows veterans deeply discounted or fully donated dental services.
Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation – Bozeman, Montana-based Warriors & Quiet Waters guides post-9/11 combat veterans and their loved ones to thrive and find peace, meaning, and purpose through fly fishing and other inspirational activities in nature.
The nonprofit explains that when service members are in the military, their missions and senses of purpose are clear, and their lives are structured to meet those objectives. Service members’ needs – basics like food and shelter, as well as emotional needs like connection and self-esteem – are met by the military so that they can focus completely on their mission. But when service members suddenly take on the new title of “veteran,” their new mission may not be so clear. They often do it alone.
Without structure, teammates or a mission—not to mention one’s physical, moral, or psychological wound–the likelihood of struggle is even higher. Without a clear identity and purpose, it’s difficult to find a path forward. That’s where WQW comes in to catalyze connection through its program.
As Veteran’s Day approaches on Nov. 11, we hope you’ll join us in supporting organizations such as these with a donation. The men and women who’ve sacrificed so much are often left behind. Let’s remember them by honoring these incredible causes, whether it be donating your money, time, or simply saying thank you.