Each year, on November 11th, we honor all those who have served in the military. We honor and give thanks to those who have courageously fought to defend our nation and its freedoms – to those who live to tell the tale and those who have honorably perished in battle. While Veterans Day is a dignified day for remembrance and gratitude, honoring our Veterans should not be limited to one day a year. From all the struggles these men and women endured to all their acts of courage, it’s important that we honor them every day.
Here are some ways you can thank your Veterans for their service all year long:
• Say thank you – If you see a veteran in uniform or wearing some sort of emblem that signifies he or she was in the military, then go out of your way to thank them. When you see a veteran at the airport or at the supermarket, simply walk up to them and say “thank you for your service.” A simple thank you can go a long way. You can also express your gratitude by sending thank you letters and care packages to veterans.
• Help wounded veterans – According to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4 out 5 veterans have a friend who was seriously injured or killed in action. You can support wounded veterans through making donations or sponsoring a fundraising event. These funds go toward ensuring wounded veterans have the medical care and rehabilitation programs they need to recover and go on living their lives. You can also show your support through visiting wounded veterans in the hospital to show your appreciation for their service and offer your support.
• Support military families – While most people are aware that many veterans struggle to cope with post-traumatic stress when they return home, military families are also impacted by the trauma of war. According to a recent CNN report, many military families have contemplated suicide. Whether a military family has lost a loved one or not, it’s important that you show your support. With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, veterans have gone through multiple deployments, which is emotionally stressful for the family. It also causes financial stress for relatives who care for their family member when he/she returns home from war. You can help military families by thanking them, listening to their story, donating to families that are struggling financially, and sending thank you cards and holiday care packages.
• Wear a military pin – Just as pink ribbons are a motive to raise awareness for breast cancer, by wearing a military pin you can raise awareness for our veterans. Military pins area a great way to honor veterans and encourage others to support wounded warriors and military families. They also make a wonderful gift for veterans and their family members. By wearing a pin, they can express their pride and show they are a military veteran.
How will you honor veterans beyond Veteran’s Day?