America has a long-standing tradition of honoring those brave souls who protect our nation from foreign enemies. And with Veterans Day around the corner, it’s important to begin to think now about ways to support and honor our veterans that will last long after the day ends.
Personalization Shows Appreciation
Maybe the most rewarding feeling is giving someone a gift that is perfect for them. Gifts that are personal convey more emotion and show how much you care.
Monetary gifts are great, but handmade gifts are just as good, if not better. If you want to take a more personal approach to show your appreciation, you can write letters or make greeting cards to send to veterans. This can be a wonderful way to get your kids involved and open to learning more about our veterans.
For that friend or family member who is a veteran and loves to barbecue, a personalized gift like a grill cover emblazoned with a military logo, mantra, or both can honor their service in a special way. It also hits the daily double of getting them something practical that they’ll see every day.
Be Vocal on Social
Social Media can give you a platform to share your beliefs and causes you care about with your followers. It also allows you to speak towards your favorite charities and foundations. With the advent of gofundme and other donation platforms, now your friends and followers can donate directly through the site. Instead of a generic Happy Veterans Day post, you can encourage donations to a charitable cause.
Volunteer Your Service
We all know the saying actions speak louder than words, and this rings especially true on Veterans Day. It’s important to be grateful and appreciative of their service to our country, but a better way to show appreciation is by donating your time. Get the family together and partake in the parade, and make signs in celebration of our veterans.
Today is also an opportunity to learn more about the veterans in your family, by taking the time to sit and chat with them about their experiences. Always be respectful and allow them to share only when they are comfortable. These moments can bring you closer and demonstrate your compassion.
Not all veterans have a support system – some could use a supportive ear just to listen, someone to talk and connect with. You can get in touch with your local VA; there you’ll have an opportunity to visit and support our veterans first-hand. This lets them know their service is not forgotten and creates a gratifying experience for everyone involved.
If you can’t donate your time, you can also donate clothing or purchased items to your VA. Remember, they need a lot of different things in order to carve out a satisfying life. Donating things like table covers and insulated tarps to accommodate veterans as a safety precaution, especially with winter coming and more things happening outside, is a big help.
Visit the VFW
Most cities, particularly on the east coast, have your local VFW Center, or Veterans of Foreign Wars Center. They provide various services such as meals, meeting places, sources of connections for fellow veterans to keep abreast of things like veteran’s healthcare and other benefits of serving.
See what you can do to help them and their membership. Maybe join in to create and promote a pancake breakfast to the entire community with proceeds benefiting the VFW. A service in the VFW’s meeting hall to honor your neighborhood’s veterans is another great way to show your appreciation. It only takes a little to let them know how much their service means.
Good For Business
As a business owner getting involved is easy, with so many businesses providing veterans and active military members discounts and free services on Veterans Day. It helps your business give back to our military members and is a sign of good faith.
If you’re a restaurant owner an easy way to show appreciation is to offer a discount or free meals. Also having food drives to gather supplies for homeless veterans.
Just Be There
The simplest thing is just to be appreciative of our Veterans, by saying thank you for your service today. Maybe strike up a conversation with a veteran you always see around town, or invite your military friends to lunch.