Blog

VIDEO: “I’m still trying to find my way back home”

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DVNF's Health & Comfort program provides veterans with vital necessities, like clothing, personal care items, and health and hygiene supplies, but it also provides something else - hope. Maurice told us that he served in Vietnam, "deep in the jungle," as he said, from 1969-1970. It's truly unbelievable the amount of hell one person can experience in just 13 short months. Maurice's voice begins to fade a bit as he confesses that this single year of his life has impacted him since then. "I'm still trying to find my way back home." This quote is a brutal reality, and the horrors of war our men and women face aren't limited to their combat experience. The trauma they face often lasts for years, just like Maurice. PTSD affects the mind, body and spirit of veterans, and can be so difficult to

VIDEO: Veterans Resource Fair Means More Than You Think

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"We served, but right now, you're helping us." DVNF's Resource Fair hosted veterans in the DC Metro region, giving them a chance to come see all the services that are available to them in the area from government agencies and nonprofits. But to many, it meant more than just seeing what's out there. For some, this was an opportunity to experience a warmth and welcoming they haven't felt in a long time. For others, this was a chance to meet new people who have had similar experiences and understand their pain. Watch this powerful video, and see why it's so important to reach out and help our veterans.

Guest Blog: VA Disability & SSDI Benefits

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If you were injured while on active duty, you are likely already on VA disability benefits. What you may not know is that you could also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). VA disability and SSDI are both benefits offered by the government for people with disabilities, but there are a few differences[i] between the two that you should know before applying. Work Requirements for VA Disability and SSDI Approval As most vets already know, your injury must be sustained while on active duty to qualify for VA disability. This is not true for SSDI benefits—you could qualify for SSDI for an illness that happened at any time. You will however be required to have paid enough Social Security taxes[ii] throughout adulthood to qualify for SSDI. The amount of taxable income earned to qualify will vary depending on your

DVNF E-Newsletter: A great start to 2018

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Help us continue the momentum as we serve our heroes!   Greetings! The new year is now in full swing, and so is DVNF! February, while a short month, is a very important month. It’s Black History Month, and it’s a time when we like to remember all the tremendous contributions to our military by African American service members and veterans. Over the years, we’ve had the chance to meet some truly remarkable individuals at various events, including a Tuskegee Airman and a Montford Point Marine. Their service to our country has not been easy by any means, and equality has been a long road, but we can’t overlook just how much they’ve meant to the safety and protection of our freedoms! DVNF Sends 2 Health & Comfort Shipments in January Our Health & Comfort program has been a major

A Glimpse Inside the Profession of Equine Therapy: Horse and Human Roles

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What makes an Equine Assisted Horse Professional? What special knowledge or skill might they need to have in order to do this work?  An equine-assisted professional should have a grounding in basic horse care requirements: feeding and nutrition, grooming, de-worming, vaccination, farrier needs, and monitoring vitals and general health. He/She should know the signs of colic, lameness, and other issues. He/She should be competent in handling the horse and maintaining a sound facility and environment suitable for horses. I feel it’s pretty important for every equine-assisted professional to take a step back from anything and everything they’ve ever learned about horses, and re-evaluate its completeness. Ideally, each horse professional develops a never-ending “learner’s mind” toward horses, a mindset that always questions the traditional ways while exploring and examining new ones. What Does It take to Be an Equine-Assisted Professional? The

Tools to Maximize Independence for Disabled Veterans

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For disabled veterans, simple tasks can get in the way of everyday activities. Not being able to put on your shoes, type on a computer or get down your front steps can make the difference between leading a fulfilling, independent life and feeling distraught and helpless. Know that having an impairment doesn’t mean you have to struggle with your day-to-day life. Assistive device options The purpose of assistive aids is to help maintain or improve your functioning and independence. They can enrich your physical, mental or intellectual wellbeing. In short, these tools make it easier for you to do everyday activities, such as getting dressed, moving around or cooking. Independent living aids This is a sample of the devices that can help you stay independent in your home. Consider these choices: In the kitchen: Mechanical reaching tools: Ask someone to

WATCH: Homeless Veterans in Jacksonville Receive Help from DVNF

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DVNF recently helped homeless veterans in Jacksonville through our Health & Comfort program. It was in incredible showing of support for veterans who need it the most. Local and national organizations came together to care for these men and women, and DVNF’s shipment helped to pave the way. This just goes to show how much Americans from all walks of life truly appreciate the service and the sacrifices of those who served in our military. Not only that, but it also demonstrates a nationwide commitment to ensuring that homeless veterans receive the care and support they are due. DVNF's Health & Comfort program is a way for us to give to veterans in need. We send shipments of Comfort Kits, clothing, blankets, toiletries, and so much more to stand down events around the country. Sometimes it encourages veterans in need

Guest Blog: How to Talk With Your Veteran About Assisted Living

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Assisted living facilities are growing like wildflowers in many communities. What do they offer, and how can you talk with your veteran about considering one? Assisted Living Basics Assisted living facilities are housing for elderly or disabled people that provides some level of assistance, but not total care. This assistance may include meals, housekeeping and help with daily activities like bathing, as well as nursing care, such as disease or medication management. Assisted living also provides safety and security 24 hours a day, opportunities for socialization, local transportation to nearby stores and doctors’ offices, and entertainment.  Before you talk with your veteran about potentially moving to assisted living, do a little homework. This conversation is not easy. Knowing the details about assisted living facility options before you talk is helpful. Review the shared decision-making form provided by the U.S. Department

VIDEO: Honoring Veterans and Active Duty Military

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Although it may seem calm at times, it's important to remember that we are still a nation at war and that we should still be honoring veterans and active duty military. There are men and women who stand ready to defend our nation from threats, and we can't forget the ever-present dangers that are out there. Many entities want to do our nation harm. They oppose everything we stand for as a nation, and though we may have our own internal struggles, our service members are there to protect us! So in 2018, while we continue to support veterans who have served our nation, let's make sure we honor those who are currently serving. Be sure to thank our heroes!

A New Year’s Resolution for Veterans

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A new year can sometimes seem like an arbitrary time to suddenly begin to make drastic changes for personal improvement. However, making improvements in your health, lifestyle, and your overall wellbeing shouldn’t take a back seat to your busy life. Even if you hate New Years resolutions, there is no time like the present to get in shape and set up new healthy habits. Veterans tend to suffer from chronic illnesses more often than civilians, so maintenance of your body through proper diet and exercise are vital. Here are a few tips to consider when debating whether or not you should embark on a journey to a better you. Find the motivation You were used to daily PT when you were in the military, but once you’re a civilian, life can often get in the ways. However, it is extremely