Every Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day, we take time to honor our brave veterans who have given so much of their lives in service for our country.
Whether you are a town resident looking for ways to honor veterans, a politician hoping to plan an event or activity in appreciation of their patriotism, or even a student curious about different ways you can contribute, these 9 most appreciated ways of honoring vets will provide ideas that range from obvious and traditional expressions of gratitude to some not-so-obvious inspirational opportunities.
- Thank them for their service: A simple “thank you” can go a long way in showing appreciation for a veteran’s service. This can be done in person, over the phone, or through a handwritten note or card.
- Support organizations that help veterans: Donating to organizations that provide services to veterans, such as VA hospitals or veteran support groups, is a way to support veterans and show appreciation for their service. These organizations often rely on donations to provide important services to veterans, such as healthcare, housing assistance, and mental health support.
- Write a letter or card: A handwritten letter or card expressing gratitude and appreciation for a veteran’s service can be a meaningful and thoughtful way to honor them. This can be a personal and heartfelt way to show appreciation, and it can be especially meaningful for veterans who may not have a lot of contact with friends and family.
- Fly the flag: Displaying the American flag is a visible way to show support and appreciation for veterans. This can be done at home or at a business, and it can be a powerful symbol of patriotism and appreciation for those who have served their country.
- Visit a veteran’s grave: Visiting the grave of a veteran and placing a flag or flowers can be a way to honor and pay respects to their service. This can be a poignant and meaningful way to remember and honor a veteran, especially for those who may not have had the opportunity to meet or spend time with them.
- Volunteer: Volunteering with organizations that support veterans, such as VA hospitals or veteran support groups, is a way to directly support and assist veterans and show appreciation for their service. This can be a hands-on way to make a difference in the lives of veterans, and it can be a rewarding and fulfilling way to show appreciation for their service.
- Attend a veterans’ event or ceremony: Many communities hold events or ceremonies to honor veterans, such as parades or memorial services. Attending these events can be a way to show support and appreciation for veterans, and it can also be a way to learn more about their service and sacrifice.
- Educate others about veterans: Sharing information about veterans and their service with others, such as through social media or by speaking to groups, can be a way to raise awareness and appreciation for veterans. This can be especially important for younger generations who may not have had the opportunity to learn about veterans or their experiences. One easy way to do this is to start a Hometown Hero banner program in your neighborhood. By showcasing the residents in your town that serve(d) our country past and present, conversation and education about their time in the military provides a framework for educating neighbors on their experiences.
- Hire veterans: Organizations such as Bridging the Gap prepare and train veterans as they transition to post-military careers. So if you are an employer, hiring veterans for job openings at your company can be a practical and meaningful way to show appreciation for their service and skills, and it can also be a way to support their transition to civilian life.
Adopting all of these ways as part of a neighborhood initiative to support your local Hometown Heroes might be the perfect way to officially be a veteran-friendly town.