Good Morning everyone! Well, those cooler temperatures are definitely here which signals that we are quickly closing in on the start of winter and this also indicates that we are about to celebrate Veteran’s Day. I know that some people don’t give much of a thought to Veteran’s Day except having a day off of work, but this holiday is one to be celebrated just like any other national holiday.
Originally called “Armistice Day” when it became a national holiday in 1938, the holiday was changed to Veteran’s Day in 1954, Veteran’s day allows all of those servicemen and servicewomen to be recognized and thanked for their sacrifices in service to defend the freedoms of the United States. Veteran’s Day is often confused with Memorial Day, where we remember those who gave their lives in sacrifice to this country, but the true purpose of Veteran’s Day is to thank veterans for their service and sacrifice.
Sometimes you can struggle to find ways to actually celebrate Veteran’s Day properly, especially if you do not personally know someone who has served in the military. So I thought I would share a list of 12 ways that you can express your appreciation to veterans.
12 Ways to Show Your Appreciation:
Display our country’s flag-
This is the simplest way you can show your support of Veterans as you respect the nation’s flag that they sacrifice to protect. If this is your first time displaying the flag or you’re not sure of the property way to fly the flag, check out Military.com for a list of the proper rules to display.
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Attend a Veteran’s Day event-
Search for a parade or special service supporting local veterans in your area. You can check with your local Chamber of Commerce or your local newspaper to find events near you.
Write a veteran-
If you know someone who has served in the military, write them a letter, postcard, or ecard to thank them for their service and sacrifice. You can also write letters to veterans across the nation and send care packages to those actively serving and deployed. If you’re looking for veterans you can write, check out Operation Gratitude for more information.
Ask them about their service-
Every day you can meet people who are veterans. You may see them wearing their uniform in public, or maybe it’s a retired veteran wearing a t-shirt or baseball cap talking about the company or ship they served with. Regardless of how you find a veteran, go and thank them for their service and ask them about it. Not sure what to ask? You can keep it simple and ask them where they served, which branch of the military they were in, has anyone else in their family served, or why they chose to go into the military. Try to avoid asking detailed questions about personal experiences or if they were ever hurt to ensure you do not make them uncomfortable or bring up painful memories.
Visit a VA hospital-
Look up your local Veteran’s Affairs (VA) hospital and ask them their policies on visiting veterans to show your support. Many veterans in the hospital may not have family or friends to visit them and would be delighted to have a visitor.
Take a veteran out-
There are so many activities that you can treat a veteran to when celebrating Veteran’s Day: visit a national park, take them to see a sporting event, or treat them to a meal. These are just small ways you can thank a veteran for their sacrifice to our country.
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Offer a ride-
There are many veterans who do not have a way to get to and from appointments or run errands. Offering to drive them is a wonderful way to give back to a veteran. Ask a veteran you know, check with your local VA hospital, or check out Disabled American Veterans for veterans in need of transportation assistance.
Treat a veteran to a meal-
While out at a restaurant, surprise a veteran by paying for their drink, dessert, or meal to say thank you for their service.
Hire a veteran-
Many veterans find it difficult to make ends meet once they are no longer in active service. If you are looking for work to be done around the house, check into Hire Patriots to support a veteran while getting quality work completed.
Serve a veteran-
If you know a veteran, whether personally or just in your neighborhood, surprise them by doing something for them – raking their leaves, washing their car, any small act of kindness will show them your thanks for their sacrifice.
Support the family of a veteran-
While a service member is actively serving, one of their greatest worries is their family back home. Check out Operation Homefront for ways you can serve family members of veterans.
There are so many ways you can support our veterans by donating:
- Donate your miles for travel to Hero Miles through Fisher House for service members and their families
- Donate clothing to veterans through your local VA Hospital, Vietnam Veterans of America, or Purple Heart Pickup
- Donate your time or money to a non-profit organization that supports veterans such as VFW, Wounded Warrior Project, USO, Soldier’s Angels
I hope this list has inspired you to support our veterans and give back as you thank them this Veteran’s Day. I’d love to hear what activities you do to celebrate Veteran’s Day so comment below to share them with us. And don’t forget to share this post on your social media sites so your friends and family can take part in celebrating our veterans this Veteran’s Day too.
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