More than 19.6 million veterans are honored with a huge ‘thank you for your service’ speech, parades, and lots of excitement on Veteran’s Day, the designated annual holiday meant to honor those brave men and women who gave their all for our freedom. As any veteran of our Armed Forces will tell you, however, this simple day of the expected honors simply isn’t enough. Aside from participating in the annual Veteran’s Day events, why not go the extra mile to show a special veteran in your life how much their service means to you? Use one of the four simple ways to honor a veteran listed below to connect with a special member of our Armed Forces.
Send a Care Package
Care packages contain various food and beverages, ink pens, paper, envelopes and stamps, entertainment products, hygiene items, and other essentials that our deployed troops need. Numerous organizations send care packages to the troops and packaging one to send overseas is one great way to thank the men and women who fight daily for our freedom.
Participate in Operation Stand Down
The Department of Veterans Affairs hosts a one to three-day event called Operation Stand Down, aimed at helping homeless vets. This program takes place at locations across the country, providing health screenings, food, shelter, and clothing to those who are on the streets. The National Coalition Against Homeless Veterans offers their own similar Stand Down program.
Support Veterans’ Organizations
Whether you choose to donate money, shop with an organization that supports veterans, or even volunteer your time, supporting our veterans is a kind gesture of sentiment that makes you feel good from the inside out. AMVETS, Wounded Warrior Project, Blue Star Families, Veterans of Foreign Affairs Foundation, and many other organizations serve our men and women of the armed forces with various social services that many depend on. Your donation/time with any of these organizations makes a huge impact on the lives of veterans and their families.
Start a Conversation
Veterans are selfless individuals who are oftentimes lonely, without friends or family in some cases, and oftentimes left to battle various mental health conditions in the wake of their service. A simple conversation, one in which you really listen, is one of he best ways to honor a veteran and thank him or her for their service. It is generally a simple ear that puts a smile on the face of a veteran; why not lend that ear and smiling face they so desperately want -and deserve?