Military families are used to a community where everyone who knows one another also serves the country together. One thing they miss after their exit is camaraderie. Consider these actions, some of which may seem minor but can have a meaningful impact.
Assist with their relocation, however you can. Although the military pays for moving expenses upon transition, you still can get involved with helping a family make the transition to your community. Your new employee will appreciate any recommendations you can make regarding neighborhood affordability, school districts and quality-of-life amenities.
Get to know their family. You may want to consider employee social events that include a veteran’s family members. Employee resource groups devoted to veterans and/or spouses also provide an instant support group for those who have recently segued into civilian life.
Help them stay conditioned. Physical fitness is also a top priority for veterans. You may want to consider adding a gym membership as part of the benefits package or, at the very least, providing top picks for gyms, bicycling clubs and sports teams in which they and their family members could participate locally. Another option to explore is Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB), a nonprofit organization that helps veterans cope with stress through physical activity. Team RWB connects veterans to these opportunities in their community. Check to see if there’s a chapter in your area, or start a new chapter. For more information, click here.
Look for volunteer opportunities. Volunteerism is a key part of community building, and working on a mission-focused community project will build camaraderie and make a significant impact on the citizens in your area. Two examples to consider: Team Rubicon, a group of volunteering veterans who help first responders provide relief to communities during emergencies, and The Mission Continues, which connects volunteering veterans with groups in their community on projects such as building a playground, planting a community garden or renovating a school that serves at-risk youth.