This week is Veterans Day. Ever since the armistice post WWI, November has been a month to honor those who sacrificed to serve their country. While you should appreciate the veterans in your life every day of the year – Veterans day gives you a unique opportunity to celebrate their service.
Commemorate your grandfather’s service in WWII with a US navy hat and visit a war memorial with your family. Even if you don’t have a direct connection to someone who has served, you can still show your support by flying your US flag or donating to charity.
Volunteer at Your Local VA Hospital
You don’t have to donate hundreds of dollars to support the veterans in your community. Take a few hours out of your week and volunteer your time at your local VA hospital. Not only will you help serve those who have done so much to keep our country safe – but you’ll get the unique opportunity to meet veterans and hear their stories.
Covid 19 guidelines are still in place in many healthcare facilities. Be aware that this may limit the number of days you can volunteer. Even if there is a longer wait time, the November holiday can be a great reminder to reach out and get more involved with veteran relations in your community.
Donate to a Veteran’s Charity in Their Name
Donate to a veterans charity in your loved one’s name if you have the means.
- The Bob Woodruff Organization aids injured veterans and their caregivers to thrive once they return home.
- Hope for Warriors helps military members transition back into civilian life.
- Homes for our Troops builds homes for veterans injured in wars post 9/11 with their disabilities in mind.
- K9s for Warriors provides canine companionship to veterans with PTSD or other mental health issues after serving overseas.
Visit a War Memorial With Your Family
Take your children to visit a local war memorial this Veterans Day. If a family member has served, bring them along and have them share stories of their service. We must educate the next generation on how the sacrifice of others enables us to live freely.
Gift Them a US Navy Hat
If your brother, sister, uncle, father, or aunt served in the navy, gift them a unique US Navy hat to celebrate their service. Customize their cap with the ship they served on and their regiment number. Have hats made for the whole family to show your loved one their legacy will live on long after they are gone.
Fly Your Flag With Pride All Year Long
Show your pride in your country and those who serve it by flying a US flag. Whether you fly it on Veterans day, the 4th of July, or all year long – correctly flying your flag shows the appropriate respect for your country.
- The union blue section, blue with stars, should be at the top of the staff
- If hanging on the wall, the union blue section should lay in the top left corner
- Always place the US flag to the left when crossing with another flag, like a state flag
- Store your flag in a folded triangle with the union blue section visible
- Dispose of a damaged US flag with dignity
Organize a Fundraising Event
Organize a fundraising event to celebrate veterans day with your community through your church or school. Invite local veterans to speak about their experiences. Make it a fun-filled day with family and friends, and use the money raised to give back to one of the many veterans’ organizations.
Build Care Packages for Troops Overseas
Spend the day building a care package for current military members with the veteran in your life. Ask them what items most reminded them of home while they were overseas. Add their favorite snacks to the mix. That little can of spam may have made all difference, or it could have been a tasty snickers bar.
Include a note of encouragement from the veteran in your life. Even if you don’t have any connections to active military members, send a package to a “stranger.” They will be happy to have a reminder of home.
Buy Them a Coffee and Listen to Their Stories
Sit down and have a simple cup of coffee with the veteran in your life. Listen to how their experience shaped them as a person. Engage in your curiosity and connect on a deeper level. You may learn something about a family member or friend you didn’t expect.
The greatest gift you can give any veteran is taking the time to listen to their stories. Encourage the veterans in your life to share their experiences with your children. Give them a chance to ensure their legacy lives on.
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