Veterans and active service members are an integral part of communities across the country. From family members to coworkers, there are no doubt a number of military neighbors in your life. This Veteran’s Day, reach out to those who have served and support them with the help of these inspirational tips.
Community Care Packages
One of the simplest ways to add some cheer to a veteran’s day is to deliver them a care package that’s been crafted with love. Not only do care packages provide veterans with sweet treats and supplies that they deserve, assembling them is an activity that your whole community can get in on to build character and remind everyone of the reason for the season.
Kids Letter Writing Campaign
If you’re looking to get kids involved in supporting active duty members this season, consider starting up a letter writing campaign. Get in touch with local schools to help facilitate a pen-pal system between students and those serving abroad.
Building a connection with service members will help give kids some perspective on military life, while those serving will receive some much-needed support from back home.
Veterans Hospital Visit & Volunteer
Your local veteran’s hospital provides plenty of opportunities for serving the vets in your community. Reach out to your nearest VA hospital and facilitate visits with residents in need of some company. Many hospitals are also in need of volunteers for events and programs, so be sure to inquire about those roles as well.
Get Involved in Veterans Affairs
When it comes to veteran advocacy, direct action is the easiest way to get results. Reach out to local representatives and ask what their plans are for best serving the veterans in your area. You can even propose your own initiatives for veteran support and recognition like community memorials or support lines.
Connect with a Veteran in Your Area
Sharing quality time with a vet can change both of your lives for the better. Building a real connection with a veteran in your community, whether it be a neighbor or a coworker, will no doubt have a positive impact that’s worth celebrating.
Support a Veteran-Owned Small Business
As you get a head start on your holiday shopping, consider purchasing your gifts from a veteran-owned business in your community. Supporting small businesses benefits your local economy, and this especially the case for veteran-owned shops.
Do some research to see which shops in your community are run by veterans. You’ll no doubt find plenty of gifting options being sold by them, from clothing to outdoor accessories that will match your outdoor chair cover.
Don’t Forget About Female Veterans
As you set out to support local veterans this season, don’t neglect the women who have served to protect our country. Female veterans are often overlooked in comparison to their male counterparts, but they deserve just as much recognition. Consider organizing a support group for female vets or host a fundraiser with the proceeds benefiting women who have served.
Donate to Veterans in Need
Giving back is the perfect activity for this thankful season, and there are always veterans in your area in need of support. Donating clothing and volunteering at food kitchens can help out the houseless or food insecure vets in your area. If you need guidance on how to best lend a helping hand, reach out to your local VA.
Understand the Veteran Experience
For those of us who have not served, putting yourself in the shoes of a vet can prove to be difficult. However, seeing things from the perspective of a veteran can help us better understand and empathize with the veterans in our lives.
This season, make it a point to read veteran memoirs and watch documentaries detailing their experiences. And most importantly, lend an ear to the veterans in your life for their stories and thoughts.
Properly Fly Old Glory
No symbol better encapsulates the support we share for veterans than the American flag. Flying the flag above in your yard above the table covers is a simple way to salute those who have served, but be aware that there are a few rules you’ll need to follow for proper flag hanging:
- Never hang your flag upside down.
- The flag should never touch the ground or items such as dog crate covers or sofa covers.
- Always display your flag with respect, and properly taken care in order to avoid soiling or damage.
Remember Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice
When honoring veterans this season, be sure to include those we have lost. Gather up your family and pay a visit to a local veteran’s memorial or cemetery to pay your respects. You can also make a donation to the VA or a veteran support organization in the name of a veteran your family or neighborhood has lost.