I absolutely /LOVE/ that one of our most popular pieces on ‘Our Letters to You’ is ‘101 Ways To Thank a Veteran‘. Most folks come in through a search engine with a simple search of ‘Thank a Veteran’ or ‘How to thank a veteran’ and they leave on one of the many links mentioned in the list. I hope they are following through. Perhaps they are leaving a message on one of the message boards that is mentioned, or they are learning how to donate their time and talent at one of the organizations dedicated to the US Veteran. I love that we are helping put people in touch with US Military Veterans throughout the year!
The Department of Veterans Affairs also sees the importance of the American civilian that goes out of their way to thank our US Military Veterans, not only on Veterans Day, but throughout the year:
November 11th is Veterans Day, a day to honor America’s military Veterans. Since 1954, the Veterans Day National Committee has worked to ensure Veterans Day receives proper and widespread observance. Part of that outreach this year includes this video for students explaining how and why we honor Veterans, not just on Veterans Day, but year-round.
On the VA Veterans Day page you’ll find not only this video but also Veterans Day History, local and national observances and resources to teach students the value of honoring our Veterans. Visit the site at http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday.
On that note, I would like to continue our “101 Ways to Thank a Veteran”:
102. Learn more about ‘Honor Flight Network’ and how you can help with this wonderful support for World War II Veterans. I have a close friend whose dad is a WW II Vet and participated in a trip to DC through Honor Flight. Karen tells me it was an /amazing/ and indescribable experience for her dad. Definitely an opportunity that I stand behind! But it can’t continue without volunteers /like you/.
103. Visit Homes for Our Troops and learn if there are plans to build a home for in your area for a disabled Veteran. You can help with fundraising, skilled labor, or a contribution through the CFC.
104. Think ahead! If you are a teenager, or a parent of a teenager, consider volunteering during the summer months. “VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) has joined President Barack Obama’s United We Serve initiative. VAVS is committed to engaging American citizens in service during the summer months and provide lasting benefits to the veterans and communities in which they live through volunteer service.” Fill out a simple form to find your best fit.
105. Get the kids involved. They could do an easy fundraiser for organizations, such as Homes for Our Troops. I’m sure any of the fundraisers mentioned at http://www.kidsforourtroops.org/ could be applied to the various Veterans Organizations that always need financial support.
107. Another related idea, learn the etiquette of being around an assistance-dog so that if you meet a disabled vet and his companion you know how to treat them both with respect.
108. Have you visited Applebees Veterans Site? Stop over and leave a message of support for our troops there: http://veterans.applebees.com/veteransday/honor-a-veteran/
109. Participate in “school drives” or start your own school drive for our deployed-troops or veterans. If your child brings home a flier or announcement from the school or PTA requesting donations for the troops participate. Pick up a few things for your child to bring in. She’ll feel good about participating and you will feel good for helping our deserving military-members.
110. Learn about the various support organizations in your own neighborhood. The VFW is not the only local military-organization. Don’t forget about the American Legion. Learn more: http://www.legion.org/
111. Learn more about Angel Food Ministries and their Thanksgiving and Christmas drive to support military-families at home.
112. Enjoy “Veterans’ Reflections” from the DoD. Some great thoughts and memories from our Veterans and a great way to remember what they have been through:
- Veterans’ Reflections: ‘Serving a Cause Bigger than Myself’
- Veterans’ Reflections: Following in Her Father’s Footsteps
- Veterans’ Reflections: Going to War in 1944
- Veterans’ Reflections: Service Was ‘Rite of Passage’
- Veterans’ Reflections: The Crew of the USS Oklahoma City
… I’ll continue to add to this list as we approach November 11th. Do you have a story about thanking a veteran? What is a great way that we might have missed? Let us know!
- Veterans Day 2010 – Military Discounts
- 101 Ways to thank a Veteran
- Veterans Day 2010 – What are you going to do for our Military-Veterans?