There are roughly 18 million veterans in the United States. Veterans Day happens once a year, in which many of us take the time to honor those who have served our country. However, one day a year just isn’t enough to express our gratitude for their service, sacrifice, and courage.
What else can we do to show them how much we appreciate and respect them? This guide will show you how to honor veterans every day.
Why It’s Important to Honor Those Who Have Served
Our veterans are incredibly important to the security and prosperity of our great nation. Some of these veterans never returned home, as they gave their lives in service. They never back down in the face of danger and show more courage than we can imagine.
The mental and physical strain that many of them are put through is a true test of character and strength. But, it is because of you and me that they choose to fight for our freedom. No matter what we look like, veterans choose to go out and stand for us. We should be there to stand by them.
Many organizations have supportive programs for veteran’s needs. From mental illness to homelessness, there are many types of issues that veterans have to face. These organizations encourage volunteers who want to make a difference in the life of a veteran.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is an exceptional resource for gathering information on volunteer opportunities near you.
2. Fly the Flag
The easiest way to honor our veterans every single day is to fly the United States flag. You can do this anywhere including your home, vehicle, business, church, boat, or another organization you are associated with.
When we fly our country’s flag, it is a symbol of everything that our veterans fought and served for. It is a token of our liberty and our freedom of which we are so lucky to have because of them. There are specific rules on how you should care for the flag, so be sure to do your research.
3. Sponsor a Service Dog
Service dogs are professionally trained and extremely helpful for many veterans. These dogs can perform tasks for those who are chronically disabled or provide emotional support to those who are mentally affected. Post-traumatic stress disorder affects 500,000 of those veterans who have served in the last 13 years. Many more go undiagnosed.
These service animals have been known to greatly improve the lives of those who suffer from these types of ailments. There are several programs outside of the VA that can help get veterans a service dog. Freedom Service Dogs of America and Puppies Behind Bars are two examples of organizations where you can sponsor a dog and get updates.
4. Share Their Stories
The Veterans History Project and the Library of Congress are collecting stories from veterans in every war. There are some amazing tales that we don’t want to lose. Many of the veteran’s stories remain untold.
Even if you don’t share with the Veterans History Project, social media is a great place to show some love. Many people are online today and enjoy coming across these stories.
5. Send Them Something Personal
Operation Gratitude works to foster strong relationships between veterans, military, first responders, and civilians. Care packages and personal letters are two common ways to support both enlisted members and veterans.
Several other organizations sponsor events like these. The Veterans Medical Center or Hospital will accept letters or cards as well. Taking the time to write a personalized message is a nice way to remind a veteran that you are thinking of them and appreciate their service.
6. Support and Thank Them
Beyond cards or letters, if you see a veteran in person, thank them for their service. This simple gesture lets them know that their decision to serve made a difference in all of our lives. It can make both of your days by fostering conversation and connection.
You can also support veteran-owned businesses. A local chamber of commerce may have some information on how you can locate these. Let them know that you are visiting because you want to support veterans.
Many food industry businesses will allow you to pay it forward. Simply let the employee know that you want to prepay for a veteran or military member. Coffee shops often have a pay-it-forward program.
7. Donate to a Cause
If you don’t have any extra time to space to volunteer, donate resources or money to a worthy cause. Most of these programs are non-profit organizations that could use the extra supplies.
There is a wide variety of organizations as well. Some offer clothing and food while others deal with intangible services.
An example of a wonderful cause to look into is Homes For Our Troops. This program builds homes for those who are coming home with a disability that has changed their normal life. One of the many hardships that these veterans face is dealing with the costs of renovations for accommodating households.
The Fisher House has a program called the Hero Miles Program. Through this program, you can donate frequent flyer miles to bring together family members of injured service members. Hotel points can be donated as well to supply a place to stay when the Fisher House is not able to accommodate.
How to Honor Veterans
Veterans have seen it as their duty to serve us and the United States of America. It is our duty to make them feel appreciated. Now that you have found out how to honor veterans outside of Veterans Day and Memorial Day, you are one step closer to making a difference in their lives.
Our company knows how important it is to honor veterans. Our products make it easier for you to fly your flag with veterans in mind! Check out our flag and flagpole accessories to get started showing your pride and gratitude.