03 Jul Orange County Web Design Company Is Reaching Out to Heroes in Need
With Independence Day on the horizon and the impending sound of fireworks a few hours away, I wonder about what I should really be considering on the Fourth of July. Yes, the bald eagles and the American flags will be plastered everywhere. Yes, there will be spectacular, booming blasts of light rippling across the sky. But, much like Christmas, I feel like I have lost what the essence of the day is really about.
While on the internet, scouring the links for an Orange County web design company to help out with my blog, I came across a small military advertisement off on the side.
I thought about the implications of Independence Day, and how the United States came to be, and realized that the biggest symbol of patriotism for Americans are the men and women giving their all in defending the homeland. Momentarily forgetting about my Orange County web design endeavors, I drew myself back to the news article written about military veterans I read just a few days ago.
As of the past few years in the United States, veterans transitioning back into civilian life strained to find job opportunities and settle into the workforce back home. The process is a clear struggle, especially when considering all of the obstacles they have to vault over just to find a job.
Servicemen and women coming back from their deployments have to adjust and adapt into a very different lifestyle than what they learned how to deal with during their term. It is a sudden change, and sudden change can and will throw people for a loop that might look like it will never end.
According to Veteran Inc., there are more than 300,000 homeless veterans on the streets at any given night, and that as much as 33% of the homeless male population are veterans. According to a National Census Report carried out in May 2015 by the Department of Veteran Affairs, disabled veterans between eighteen and thirty-four years of age have a 14.2% poverty rate, compared to disabled non-veterans at 9.2%. From the same report, disabled veterans between the ages thirty-five and fifty-four have a startling 33.8% poverty rate, compared to the disabled-citizen poverty rate of 25.4% of the same age range.
Veterans are twice as likely than citizens to end up living on the streets, and the number of Vietnam-war era deaths tallies up to be less than the amount of Vietnam veterans who are now homeless.
Veteran Inc. lists the following reasons as to why veterans struggle to find their way: there is a difficulty obtaining income due to non-transferrable skills learned on the field, many veterans suffer from combat-related mental and physical injuries and illness, and there is simply a lack of services to help these heroes on their return home.
The problems are clear, and civilians and organizations alike have been pitching in to help solve the problem. Veterans need opportunities to not only help themselves and work out of their situation, but to also help others that are in similar hardship.
One of the ways to help is to assist disabled veterans with their prospective businesses.
After setting what seemed to be a goal that would never be reached, the Defense Department reached their quota on awarding contracts to small businesses run by disabled veterans just last year. In previous years, their goals for the fiscal year of awarding 3% of small-business contracts to disabled veterans proved not good enough, and they kept working at increasing that percentage until they broke through to reach 3.7%.
Orange County Web Design Company Has A Helpful Solution
Private businesses are also pitching in. Lighthouse Graphics, an Orange County web design company, introduced their own donation system to help with these small businesses. For every website created for paying clients, a complete website package will be donated to a veteran looking to start up his or her own business for the first time. Josh Wilhelm, owner of the company, explained his motives.
“Many of these heroes returning from war torn countries are physically and mentally changed in ways that often prohibit them from obtaining a standard civilian job. They still need to provide income and put food on the table for families. Many turn to their hobbies and outlets of solace for a way to start a small business, and we want to help them not only to expose their business to the world, but to also tell their story. While many of those who served are modest about their deeds, I believe that if these heroes carry out their actions on the field as a duty to be upheld, then we feel that it’s our duty to give thanks and help them out.”
Those who have given so much for individuals like me deserve a chance to retire peacefully and pleasantly for their efforts in the military. I do not even know many of their names, nor do I know most of their stories. But I do know that we can help each other out, as even the smallest of gestures means something.
Looking up at the blue sky, knowing that it will soon be filled with the bright colors of Independence Day, I felt as though I saw the meaning behind the festivities.