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10 Best Volunteer Activities in Retirement

Helping Troops, Military Families and Veterans

Opportunities abound for retired military personnel and civilian retirees wishing to lend a hand and show their gratitude to veterans or active servicemen and women.

The mission of the USO is to create a better quality of life for military personnel and their families in the United States and abroad, and USO volunteers help with everything from greeting troops as they return from overseas tours and making hot coffee in USO offices to providing warm meals and warm blankets to troops on airport layovers while they're awaiting flights home [source: USO].

The Veterans Affairs Volunteer Service Program of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (VAVS) supports wounded veterans and others throughout the VA medical care system. VAVS volunteers also provide services to homeless veterans and help to honor veterans by creating and maintaining shrines and tributes through their work with the National Cemetery Administration [source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs].