Veteran’s Day is over for another year. The parade floats are being torn down, the marching bands have moved on to Christmas music, we are all starting to prep for the next holiday.
America is a nation that appreciates the sacrifices of our veterans, and this year was no exception. Many times civilians will express that they wish they could do more than simply say thank you. And while they appreciate the support, often times Veterans will say they do not require or need a thank you or gesture from the civilian population…they are simply doing their job.
Still, many people want to know in what ways, both big and small, they can give back to those men and women who have stepped up to the plate to defend and protect this country. And they want to know how they can do that throughout the year…not just on one day. Our group of online collaborators put together this list of things that anyone can do to say “thank you” all year round.
25) Support Veteran owned businesses.
The National Veteran Owned Business Association has a simple message – to create opportunities for all of America’s veteran owned businesses. More than 3 million men and women who have served their country own their own businesses. To learn more visit Navoba.com and support these businesses by utilizing their goods and services.
24) Hire a Veteran, or support the businesses who do.
You can visit MilitaryFriendly.com to read the most current list of Military Friendly employers.
23) Hire a spouse of active duty or veteran…
And support those businesses that do. (Military Spouse Friendly Employers)
22) Did you tune into the Military Channel on November 10th, 2015 for the Homeward Bound Telethon?
This moving telethon has raised almost $400,000 for Haven from the Storm, a charity benefiting veterans suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). You can still help. Visit www.homewardboundtelethon.org to see clips from the telethon and to make your donation.
21) Support programs like “Homecoming Heroes”
(www.modestneeds.org) helping to keep injured and ill veterans from slipping into a cycle of poverty while waiting on VA benefits.
20) Offer a military discount to both Active Duty and Veterans.
The military community is very loyal and grateful to businesses that support them in this small way. Here’s the Giant list of Meals, Deals, and Perks from 2016!
19) It is true that a simple “thank you” is appreciated by many veterans.
18) Buy Dinner
If you are in a position to do so and can buy a Veteran a drink or meal, consider doing it anonymously. Some Veterans are uncomfortable with public displays of gratitude.
17) Brush up on your patriotic etiquette
Teach your children things such as when to stand for the American flag or what to do during the playing of our National Anthem.
16) Learn about the different branches of service
And what they call their service members. Army = Soldier, Navy = Sailor, Coast Guard = Coastie or Coast Guardsman, Marine Corps = Marine, Air Force = Airman. It’s not that they are offended to be called another name…but they have earned their respective titles and appreciate it when civilians know the difference.
15) Be kind. Be respectful. Be honorable.
Be the kind of person that service members join the military protect. Show them that our country is still a great place to defend.
14) Visit nursing homes
Especially with large populations of Veterans and just spend time talking and listening with them. So many of our older Veterans have incredible stories to tell. Hear those stories… and pass them on to your children.
Pc: Stacy Huisman
13) Learn about veterans
Find out what issues are affecting Veterans and fight for them with your vote. Let elected officials know that Veterans are important to you and will be reflected when you go to the polls.
12) Participate in welcoming home an Honor Flight
11) Fly an American Flag.
Properly. Here’s how.
10) Thank their families
We at military spouse know what we all go through…thank them, too!
9) Respect military uniforms
And ribbons, medals etc. by not wearing them as a fashion statement if you did not earn them.
8) Be informed
Learn more about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury. Don’t assume all Veterans are damaged goods.
7) Learn about alternate therapies
There are therapies that are helping Veterans who do come home with life-changing injuries or conditions, such as music therapy. www.cammomusic.org
pc: Morgan Slade
6) Support charities
Like Fisher House which provide free or low cost lodging to veterans and military families receiving treatment at military medical centers.
5) Give Back.
Support charities that help our veterans. Charities like these will be needed for many years. How can you help?
4) Semper Fi Fund
Provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Created by military spouses, 94% of the funds raised go directly to helping the service members and their families. Learn more.
3) Adopt A US Soldier
This is a non-profit organization that seeks volunteers to help show the brave men and women fighting for our freedom that their sacrifices will not go unnoticed. It connects supportive civilians with deployed troops and offers a channel by which to communicate encouragement and express gratitude to those brave men and women serving in the United States Armed Forces. Learn more.
2) Volunteer your time
Find out how you can volunteer your time or donate to the USO (www.uso.org), and organization whose mission is to lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families.
Imagine if you were a part of something that shaped a Nation. Imagine if you saw friends perish or come back wounded. Imagine if you were changed forever. What if everyone forgot the sacrifices you and others had made? Remember…then make sure the next generation does as well.
pc: Stacy Huisman