Veteran’s Day is the day we try to purposely say “Thank You” to those who have chosen to serve our country, past and present.
But as a wife of a Veteran, I like to show appreciation all during the year and not just for one special day.
Because they serve every day of the year away from their families, on holidays, and on weekends when most of us are enjoying our days off. Being a veteran is a lifestyle and not just a job. So today I am sharing 7 different ways to honor a Veteran every day of the year.
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To pull this list together, I decided to go to the source – the Veterans themselves – and asked them what means the most to them about how others show appreciation and say thanks.
1. Say Thanks to their family.
This one came from my husband. He said he always appreciates a “Thank you for your service” comment from others but what means the most to him is for them to recognize and thank his family. He believes the family pays the biggest sacrifices for a Veteran’s career whether deployed overseas or not. The family “serves” along with the Veteran.
2. Honor the national anthem.
I know this is a controversy for the news media these days, but to a Veteran, it is not. Stand up, take off your hat, cover your heart with your hand, and show respect for our country. It is the same to a Veteran as showing respect to them.
3. Send a card
Hallmark and other card companies have in recent years started creating special cards just for Veteran’s Day. They even have cards designed for each branch of service. But beyond that, a simple thank you card any time during the year will do the same in lifting the spirits of those separated from their families.
4. Pay for their meal.
This you can do anonymously or in person. When you see a Veteran eating in a restaurant or behind you in line at the drive-through at a fast food place, pay for their meal as a thank you. Another great way is to buy gift cards for local restaurants and keep them in your wallet or purse. These are great to hand out with a handshake as you say thank you.
Recently at a Cracker Barrel, we stopped for lunch while traveling, of course, my husband noticed at the table behind us the older gentleman’s military hat on his table. Without hesitation, he told our waitress to give us their dinner ticket. The gentleman’s back was to us so my husband just quietly walked to the counter and paid for their meal and we left. He didn’t need recognition for it or to introduce himself.
I hope this small gesture put a smile on the gentleman’s face for the rest of the day.
5. Buy them a cup of coffee and listen to their stories.
Great friendships can be created over a great cup of coffee and genuine conversation.
6. Support Veteran Owned Businesses
I am all for supporting local small businesses, especially those owned and operated by veterans. But you don’t always know which business to support. A great place to start is on the internet by searching for Veteran Owned Business Directories in your area.
Here is also a link to Veteran owned moving companies that are helpful if you are planning a move in the near future.
7. Join a Veteran Support Group
Whether you know a veteran or not, you can still show your support all year long by becoming a part of a Veterans Support Group such as Operation Gratitude. You can write letters, send cards, help pack a care package, or even just pay for the shipping on a care package. Get together with the ladies in your church or community to start knitting scarves or blankets and those too can be sent to a soldier. There are so many ways to show your support through this program.
Supporting our veterans is so much more than attending a parade once a year – which you really need to do too – but there are such simple and heartfelt ways to show your support every day of the year. I hope you take advantage of just a few I have included in this post.
And to any veteran reading this post – Thank You!
Proud wife of a Veteran
1. Joshua 1:9
“…Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”