Serving Those Who Served

A host of noble organizations fight for those who fought for us

When President Abraham Lincoln offered his Second Inaugural Address, the weary statesman earnestly spoke of the need “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan.” This, he intoned, was a path to healing the physical wounds of conflict that afflicted its injured veterans and to mending intangible trauma of a civil war that had divided the nation. 

The Department of Veterans Affairs moved away from the direct quote as its motto in 2023, adopting language that encompasses a growing number of female veterans and those who served honorably without experiencing frontline combat. Nevertheless, the meaning of Lincoln’s appeal persists, and applies to the efforts of all Americans, not merely to our federal programs. 

Today, the same call to uplift veterans, especially those who have suffered because of their time in uniform, is heeded by numerous charities that aid and assist veterans with the visible and invisible scars of war. These are only some of the many outstanding nonprofits that fight for the wounded men and women who fought for us. 

Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), which observed its 20th anniversary in 2023, began as a grassroots initiative to provide personal care backpacks for injured soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. It has since grown into one of the largest veteran nonprofit groups, with 165,967 registered warriors as of April 2022. Through its numerous programs and efforts, the WWP supports wounded veterans and their families with VA benefits assistance; peer and community groups, activities and events; alumni connections; recovery projects and workshops; advocacy; mental health services; employment and financial guidance; and grants for partner organization. 

Disabled American Veterans

Founded in 1920 by wounded veterans seeking to advocate and care for those injured in the First World War, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) now represents more than a million members and helps veterans of all ages and identities navigate the federal benefits system and obtain the support they are owed. Through national, state and local networks, DAV also offers job fairs, on-site volunteers at VA hospitals, no-cost rides for VA appointments, natural disaster emergency grants and homelessness assistance. A strong advocacy component promotes expanded benefits for veterans disabled in war. 

Wounded Warrior Family Support

Wounded Warrior Family Support (WWFS) focuses on uplifting the families of service members wounded, injured or killed during combat operations. Since 2003, WWFS has alleviated the burden on caregivers with meals, housekeeping, medical travel grants and in-home care for wounded veterans, in addition to offering vacations for wounded service members and their families and distributing modified vehicles to enhance mobility for disabled veterans. 

Semper Fi & America’s Fund

Started by military spouses volunteering to provide bedside support for wounded Marines, Semper Fi & America’s Fund has substantially expanded to offer dozens of one-on-one, needs-based financial assistance opportunities to injured veterans of all branches of the military. The Fund distributes money for wounded veterans to obtain the care, equipment, camaraderie, educational and employment resources and family support necessary to thrive and recover from a military disability. Additionally, holistic initiatives allow for improved wellness through musical and visual arts funding, fitness and sports, support dogs and even a horsemanship program. 

Of course, these groups represent only a fraction of the existing nonprofit, charitable and volunteer organizations dedicated to supporting and improving the lives of those wounded in the service to our country. In addition to other national groups, there are countless local resources that uphold the meaning of Lincoln’s call that we care for the service members and their families who bear the cost of war.