9 Simple Tips for Honoring the Military Veterans in Your Life
It can be daunting at times when confronted with the task of showing a veteran how much they are appreciated. After all, they sacrifice their lives in order to protect us. While simple gestures may pale in comparison to their service, these small signs of gratitude should not be underestimated. They can instill military veterans with a sense of purpose and pride. Here are nine simple tips for honoring the military veterans in your life.
1- Donate to Veteran Programs
There are countless programs such as USO and Wounded Warriors that are dedicated to helping returning military veterans. There are many issues such as homelessness, PTSD, depression and more that veterans are often faced with when returning home. Donating to these programs in support of veteran affairs is one of the greatest ways to show gratitude to honor the military veteran in your life.
2- Write A Letter
At times, words alone cannot express the feelings we have. This is especially true when trying to convey how much someone means to us. Instead of attempting to express your appreciation for a veteran in words, you could write them a letter. All of the things you have always wanted to say can finally be expressed in the most effective way. Also, letters are taken very personally.
3- Offer Help
There are many struggles facing returning military veterans. Offering help to veterans is a great way to show appreciation. It is important for people to be aware of signs of need rather than waiting for veterans to ask for help themselves.
4- Create a Memory Box
A memory box is a display featuring important memorabilia from an individual’s service. This can include medals, honors, pieces of equipment, American flags, etc. Anything that might be sentimental or valuable to the service member can be included. Creating a memory box for a military veteran shows that you find their service and mementoes just as valuable as them.
5- Say Thank You
Thanking military veterans is a very common practice, even within families. The meaning and impact of a simple “thank you” cannot be underestimated. This is especially true when it comes to something as important as military service. No service member will grow tired of hearing those two words after returning home from service. It lets these military veterans know that their effort and sacrifice was not in vain.
6- Ask Questions
Many military veterans have trouble returning to everyday life after having so many unordinary experiences. This problem is made worse when these veterans have nobody to talk to. Instead, they must try to deal with these issues alone. Asking questions about the veteran’s service and talking to them about their experiences can be a great way to alleviate some of these pressures. Also, showing interest in their specific experiences is a great way to show appreciation. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, active listening is another important component.
7- Hang a Flag
There is no more symbolic gesture of appreciation for veterans than to hang an American flag. After all, this is the flag that military veterans have risked their lives to protect. In service, military members develop a close association and protection for the flag. Displaying that same flag with pride is a great way to not only show a military veteran, but also the world of your appreciation.
There are countless veteran programs that could use volunteers. You can ask another military veteran if they would like to join or simply volunteer alone. Because military veterans risk their lives in order to protect us, volunteering time and energy is a great demonstration of appreciation and thanks. Serve.gov also recommends volunteering occupational expertise such as accounting, financing or engineering to veterans in need.
9- Cook Dinner
Another great and simple method for showing gratitude to the military veterans in your life is to cook a meal for them. Not only does offering food show thanks, but this also provides an opportunity for people to talk with the veteran and acknowledge their appreciation.
While the debt owed to veterans may never be able to be repaid, we can still show as much appreciation as possible. Military veterans are delighted to receive thanks and gratitude from the people in their life. This adds additional confirmation to their sacrifice and service.