Veterans have made tremendous sacrifices for our country. From the Revolutionary War to the current conflicts, those who’ve served in uniform deserve our ongoing appreciation and admiration. There are many ways to show veterans how much we value their service, so read on to find the best way to express your appreciation in the lives of all the veterans you meet.
Donate Time and Money to Veteran Charities
There are many organizations dedicated to helping veterans. Donating money or volunteering your time can help ensure that the veteran community has access to the services they need. Local charities often provide food, housing, medical care, employment assistance, and more for veterans who may not have other resources available to them.
Finding your local veteran charity is as easy as doing a quick online search. You can also check with your state’s Department of Veterans Affairs to get phone numbers, addresses, and information about local charities that support veterans. Additionally, many churches and other community organizations have programs designed to help veterans in need. With some research, you can easily find a veteran charity near you that could use your help.
Send a Care Package
If you know a veteran personally but don’t live close by, consider sending them a care package filled with items that are meaningful and useful. A gift basket could include items like coffee mugs with military-themed designs; snacks such as beef jerky, trail mix, crackers, and nuts; books about military history; and toiletries such as shampoo, soap, and lotion. You could also include handwritten letters of love and appreciation from family members or friends who wish to thank them for their service.
Another great way to show a veteran you care is by including services in your care package. Consider providing gift cards for meals at a restaurant or tickets to the movies. You could also include tickets for free admission to local attractions, such as museums and national parks. Additionally, you might include coupons for discounts on services like haircuts, car washes, or oil changes. With a bit of creativity and thoughtfulness, you can create a care package that a veteran will truly appreciate.
Express Gratitude in Person
When you encounter a veteran in person—whether it’s at a restaurant or while waiting in line at the store—take a few moments to tell them how much you appreciate what they’ve done for our country. Even if all you can manage is a simple “thank you” accompanied by a smile, this small gesture can mean so much to someone who has served in uniform. It shows that we recognize their sacrifice and will never forget what they gave up for us all those years ago.
It’s important to remember that not all veterans want to be thanked for their service or reminded of their experiences. Some may feel uncomfortable with the attention, while others may find it intrusive or even insulting. When interacting with veterans, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid saying anything inappropriate or disrespectful. Refrain from asking too many questions about their service or what they experienced, and avoid making assumptions about how their experiences have impacted them.
Showing genuine respect for a veteran’s privacy is the best way to show your gratitude. Be mindful of the fact that every veteran’s story is unique—and everyone deserves to be able to tell theirs in their own time.
Take Care of Them However You Can
If you know a veteran personally and are looking for ways to show them how much you care, there are plenty of ways to do so. Consider offering to help with yard work or home repair projects, providing in-home care services such as meal preparation and transportation, or helping them manage their finances. Veterans often need assistance with day-to-day tasks, and any help you can give will be greatly appreciated. Additionally, there are many veteran-focused senior in-home care services that can provide companionship and assistance with medical needs for those who require more specialized care.
Attend Memorial Day Events
Memorial Day is an important holiday for honoring the men and women of the military who have given their lives in service to our country. Taking part in local events such as parades and memorial services is a great way to show your support for veterans and express your gratitude for the sacrifices they made. You can also pay your respects by visiting military memorials or cemeteries and placing flags or flowers on veteran gravesites.
Showing our veterans that we love and appreciate them is an important way of honoring their service to our country. From donating time and money to veteran charities to sending care packages with thoughtful items inside, there are plenty of ways we can express our gratitude towards those who have risked their lives in service of our nation’s freedom. No matter how big or small your gesture may be—from telling them “thank you” when you meet one in person to writing heartfelt letters expressing your love and admiration—your kind words will go far beyond the surface level of recognition they deserve.
Written by: Dixie Somers
About the author: Dixie Somers is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, health, and women’s interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.