En español | Service members are familiar with many of the benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, though some VA services can be easily overlooked. Military families are also aware of veteran discounts offered by restaurants, retailers and other businesses. Less familiar are some of the private programs aimed at helping veterans get on their feet, get job training and get around. Here's a look at some useful resources that many vets might not know about.
Careers and Finance
AARP Job Board: Use the Veterans Wanted Jobs filter to search for employers who are actively seeking applicants with a military background.
AARP Resume Advisor: Get a free expert résumé review of how well your skills are communicated and obtain personalized recommendations on how to make your résumé stand out. Discounted writing packages are also available to rewrite your résumé, cover letter or LinkedIn profile.
AARP Work Reimagined Guide for Veterans & Military Families: This guide can help you navigate other free resources AARP offers to aid you in your job search.
Operation First Response: Provides financial assistance to military families to cover the costs of such things as groceries, clothing, rent and transportation..
American Legion: Temporary financial assistance is available to families in need for the cost of shelter, food, utilities and health expenses.
USA Cares: Provides post-9/11 military veterans, service members and their families with emergency financial assistance and post-service skill training toward a civilian career path.
Onward to Opportunity: A free career training program that provides professional certification and employee support services to service members, veterans and military spouses.
LinkedIn: Service members and veterans can get a free one-year premium subscription to the career-focused social network. Credentials need to be verified first through ID.me.
AARP Supports Veterans, Military and Their Families: Share this printable guide with other veterans and military families to let them know about the resources, tools and information AARP offers to the military community.
Together We Served: The veteran-only website provides a means to reconnect with former service members by entering their service history. Each branch of the military is represented, totaling over 1.9 million members.
RallyPoint: Military community members can discuss social and professional topics from recruitment to retirement. The platform has nearly 2 million members.
Make the Connection: Connects veterans, family members and friends with solutions affecting their lives. The website offers videos of veterans sharing their stories of strength and recovery, and features other mental health topics and a network of in-person resources.
National Parks Service: Free admission is available for gold star families and military veterans to over 2,000 locations, including national parks, wildlife refuges and forests.
National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) VA Benefit Identifier: This mobile app directs veterans to a questionnaire that assists in verifying if a VA claim should be filed for a service-connected disability benefit or a non-service-connected disability pension. It is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
NVLSP Resources for Combat-Related Special Compensation: Materials from the nonprofit’s Know Your Rights: Combat-Related Special Compensation Clinic are available in PowerPoint and video format. The information gives veterans a better understanding of their eligibility for combat-related payments.
AARP Veterans’ Health Care Benefit Guide: Navigating VA benefit programs can be overwhelming. This guide can help you understand your eligibility and determine the best options available to you.
Space-A Flights Program: Veterans with a permanent and total service-connected disability rating are eligible to fill surplus seating on Department of Defense aircraft when available.
Veteran Airlift Command: Post 9/11 combat-wounded veterans and their families can receive free air transportation for medical and other “compassionate purposes” through a network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots.
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Rides: The DAV organization offers free rides to VA medical facilities for injured and ill veterans. Check the directory on the website to find the DAV hospital service coordinator located closest to you.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to add new resources and information.