Veterans Day, which originated in 1919 as Armistice Day, is a day to honor those who have served in the United States military. This day is celebrated as a federal holiday and strives to recognize those who have sacrificed so much.
Beyond the traditional “Thank you for your service” phrase, below are five ways to go above and beyond to thank a veteran this Veterans Day.
Write & deliver thank you cards
Writing thank you cards is a fun activity you can do with young children. Not only does it teach them what a veteran is, but it demonstrates a thoughtful act towards someone else. If you do not have personal contact with any veterans in your area, contact a local nursing home or VA hospital to organize a Thank You card drop off. Also, many veterans volunteer with local USO chapters in each state. Contact your local USO center and drop off thank you cards for the veteran volunteers.
Support veteran-owned businesses
A great way to thank a veteran is to support their businesses. For a state by state directory, click here. Choosing a veteran-owned business does more than thanking them; it is also supporting their families.
Learn from a veteran
Ask veterans questions about their time in service and learn from them. Find out what their job was in the military, how long they served, which branch they served in, and what they liked the most about their time in service. It flatters a veteran when someone is genuinely interested in their service time, and most veterans enjoy talking about it.
Display an American flag
Nothing makes a veteran feel more appreciated than to see an American flag displayed properly and waving in the wind. Be sure to brush up on flag etiquette to present the flag appropriately.
Hire a veteran
Giving veterans a chance to earn an income outside of the military is a great way to thank them. Many times, their training and experience inside of the military can be of great value to a company. When you give a veteran a job opportunity, you can significantly impact them and their family. It shows them that their military experience is valuable, and they are an indispensable member of society.
There are numerous ways to thank a veteran on Veterans Day and all year long. Showing them gratitude for their service to this country is a great way to practice patriotism. After all, it is because of men and women who have served in the Armed Forces that we are safe and enjoy all of the freedoms we have in America.
Wendi Iacobello is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a Master of Arts in Educational Media. She also has a BS degree in Early Childhood Education. Her professional career in education spans across nine years in the public education sector to include; middle and high school special education, adult education for incarcerated men, women, & youth, compensatory education, High School Equivalency instruction formerly known as GED, and community college instruction in Early Childhood Education curriculum courses. Wendi is an Army Spouse and first time mom to an adorable infant boy. Her hobbies include; volunteering in the local community, gardening, teaching aqua cycling and stroller fit classes on the military installation, and encouraging the military community through her blog Strength 4 Spouses.