Veterans Want To Engage With You

Tips from them to help you connect

5 min readNov 7

Gentleman with thick brownish beard and blue eyes, looking to the right (anatomical) staring off, lost in thought. He is wearing an US army uniform.
Photo by Lance Reis on Unsplash

A few months ago I was invited to an event that focused on non-profits that engaged with Veterans. It was interesting because they were not Veteran specific, but had Veterans as customers. One specifically, Hope for Hospice gave a great presentation on the importance of training volunteers to appropriately engage with Veterans and shared some of their training with us. They utilized a list developed by PsychArmor and it is fantastic.

PsychArmor is a nonprofit with a mission to educate surrounding communities about military culture awareness, mental health, transition, caregiving, suicide prevention, and anything in between. They went out and asked hundreds of Veterans what they wanted the civilian community to know about them, broke it down to a list of 15 things, and developed a free course curriculum. (I promise, I get no kickbacks for the link.)

With Veterans Day approaching, I thought it would be great to share the list titled, 15 Things A Veteran Want You To Know (click title for original list). The list is theirs, description is a paraphrase of theirs infused with a few of my thoughts.

1. We are not all soldiers. Soldiers are Army, folks. The military has Airmen, Seamen, Soldiers, Marines, and Guardians…each with their own flavor. The only generalization we accept is service member, military member, or Veteran.

2. Reserve (and Guard) are military. After serving in both, I can say they equally have their challenges. Imagine being held to the same active duty training requirements, but having 50% less time to accomplish it. They have served, they have seen, and they have suffered like their active duty counterparts. Their families deal with missed holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, become caregivers to their injured partner, and often have less support.

3. Not everyone in the military is infantry (in tanks, on patrol, etc…). Thank goodness! You really do not want your medical team out on combat patrols. Much like we do not want our Special Forces performing surgery. We all have been highly trained for our specific job in the service, ranging from infantry, artillery, special forces, EOD (bomb recovery), lawyers, and medical to personnel, musicians, mortuary, dining hall…


Hi! I am a Veteran, Mom, nurse, writer, educator, blogger, and podcaster. Here to share issues impacting military transition. (Which impacts civilians too.)