The story of the good Samaritan is a famous told by Jesus, about a traveler who has been stripped of his clothing, beaten, and left half dead on the side the road. A priest and another man walk by him, but neither help the man. Finally, a Samaritan (from the group that guarded the Jewish holy books) comes upon the traveler, and helps the injured man. Jesus is described as telling the parable in response to the question from a lawyer, “And who is my neighbor?” In response, Jesus tells the parable, the conclusion of which is that the neighbor figure in the parable is the man who shows mercy to the injured man. This is the Samaritan. The story is meant to show that we should love everyone, our family friend’s neighbors and even our enemies.

This story also fits well with why we should be helpful to our soldiers. They are our families. Thankfully, there are many groups that focus exclusively on this. An example of this is Helping a Hero, a charitable organization that builds customized homes for veterans who have suffered combat wounds. Many of them are missing limbs and have other ailments that prevent them from being able to function in a typical home setting. Instead they need a home that is modified to accommodate their injuries. Helping a Hero provides these home and to date they have built and handed over more than 100 to US combat veterans.

Our standing as good countrymen and women demands that we treat them well or in other words, that we act like good Samaritans.

When our soldiers either choose or are chosen to enter the military and begin their service to protect and defend our country and its citizens they take on a special role in society. What begins for them is a complete change in their lives that includes events and happenings that can never be fully understood by civilians who never went through it. Our compassion and good will is necessary in order for them to feel appreciated, loved and respected. Here are things we are good Samaritans can do for our soldiers who return home after defending our country.

Understand and meet their needs

Military veterans have specific needs that need to be understood and met. A good percentage have been wounded and have psychological and physical ailments that will impair their lives forever. They need special assistance to deal with these issues and we need to continuously understand and meet their needs. Veterans have many needs that should be met to insure their good health safety and will being. Today it is widely known that veterans have high rates of homelessness, alcoholism, mental issues, and drug use than the general population. Although the government has departments to assist veterans in each of these areas, their efforts consistently fall short leaving veterans without assistance for some of their greatest challenges. It is our job as good Samaritans to make sure that their needs are met. This means supporting those organizations that are aimed at assisting veterans and doing things like volunteering when we can at veteran focused charities.   When we do this we are truly a good Samaritan.