Veterans Day 2018 is quickly approaching, and we want to make sure our veterans feel the love and support. Be sure to take the time to acknowledge our veterans on Sunday, November 11, 2018, and the observed Federal Holiday on Monday, November 12, 2018. Below are 11 ways show our veterans appreciation for their service and sacrifices:
- Thank Them
A quick and genuine “thank-you” can go a long way. It may not feel like much, but it means a lot. We all appreciate expressed gratitude every now and then, so let’s honor Veterans Day by letting our service members know we’re thankful for them.
- Treat them to Coffee or a Meal
If you see a veteran in line for coffee or dining out at a restaurant, pick up their tab. This simple act of kindness can make such a positive impact.
- Shop Veteran-Owned Businesses
Carefully consider where you’re shopping or dining out on Veteran’s Day, and frequent veteran-owned businesses if you can. Contact your local chamber of commerce to see if they have a list of veteran-owned businesses. – If you’re local to The Villages, stop by Restoring Hope Thrift Store, where all proceeds benefit Combat Veterans to Careers – helping our veterans transition to fulfilling civilian lives after their military career has ended.
- Take Them Outdoors
Utilize your resources to invite a veteran or group of veterans out for a day of fun or relaxation. Fishing, four wheeling, kayaking, horseback riding, or almost any outdoor activity can boost mental and emotional well-being. So, consider giving back with an experience that truly benefits them, or one they may not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy.
- Show Up for a Special Event or Veterans Day Parade
Show your support and appreciation by attending a local Veterans Day Parade or any event benefiting veterans. A quick search on Google or Facebook should lead you to a few options in your area, or you can visit your local news station’s community calendar online. Help spread the word if you do know of a Veterans Day event in your community.
- Volunteer with a Veterans Organization
Reach out to a local veterans’ nonprofit, and ask how you can get help out. There are so many ways to get involved with Combat Veterans to Careers, and we know many other veterans’ organizations around the state of Florida who could use an extra hand as well. That may look like office assistance, volunteering at events, or working directly with veterans in need.
- Serve Their Family
Find a way to assist any families you may know whose veteran is deployed, disabled or fallen, along with those who are in transition from military to civilian life. Things like offering to babysit for a night, delivering a meal, mowing a lawn, or any other acts of service can be completely rejuvenating to a veteran family in need.
- Know the Difference Between Veterans Day and Memorial Day
While both holidays honor our military, there’s a big difference between the two. Veterans Day is always on November 11th, celebrating all of the men and women who’ve served in our Armed Forces, past and present. Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May and honors all who’ve died while serving in our military.
- Donate to a Cause that Supports Veterans
There are thousands of organizations across the nation that provide much-needed services for our veterans and their families. Find one that puts the majority of its donations into serving our veterans, and understand the charity’s work and mission. Whatever you can give, large or small, is a great tribute to our veterans.
For example, with Combat Veterans to Careers, 92% of all donations go directly to assisting Post-9/11 combat veterans and their families who are working hard to transition from military to civilian life. Its mission is to provide 360° of support and opportunities in the areas of health/wellness, education, housing and career services, without just giving handouts. All donations are tax-deductible.
- Send a Care Package to a Veteran Overseas:
If you know a veteran overseas, this would be a great time to send a care package or letter of support and encouragement. Be sure to review the military mail guidelines before shipping. If you don’t personally know any service members overseas, you can send a care package to deployed service members through the USO.
- Talk to Your Kids About Veterans Day
Teach your children and/or family members the importance of honoring our veterans and acknowledging those currently deployed. Discuss the sacrifices they make and the hard work and dedication put into training for war and serving our country.
How will you show your support this Veterans Day? Feel free to share more ideas with us on Facebook or Twitter.