Did you know there are about 19 million veterans living in the United States today? That means there are 19 million people all around you who deserve a handshake, hug, or pat on the back.
They made tangible sacrifices and likely spent time away from their loved ones in order to protect America, the land of the free.
If you’ve been searching for new ways to say thank you to your local veterans, then you’re about to embark upon a wonderful new venture.
There are countless ways to say thank you, salute them for their service, and give back to your local community.
From walks through museums to volunteer service at the VA, here are a few different ways to give back to the brave men and women who dutifully served our country.
Visit a Military Cemetery
One way to pay tribute to veterans any day of the year, not just Veteran’s Day, is to visit a military cemetery. If you live near a national cemetery, that will provide a rewarding experience, too.
It’s a peaceful way to spend the afternoon. You can walk along the property, read the various epitaphs, and give a nod to those who served in honor of our great country.
On your way in or out, offer a small donation. It will help maintain the grounds and keep them in tip-top shape.
Fly a Flag
Anyone who’s served in the military can appreciate an American flag soaring high in the air. While it might be nice to install a flag pole, it’s a bit of a task.
With a simple mounting bracket, you can also fly a flag from your porch in no time at all. You’d be hard-pressed to find a military family that doesn’t display the American flag. So, this is a nice way to join their ranks and salute this great nation.
Visit a Military Museum
Military museums abound. And you don’t have to be in the nation’s epicenter, Washington, D.C., to make this happen. These kinds of memorials are dotted all across the nation. Some are smaller than others, but require the same patronage to stay afloat.
A quick Google search might surprise you and reveal a small, local museum you’ve never noticed before. Best of all, we can almost guarantee they’ll be delighted to see you.
Read a History Book
One way to honor anyone who’s served in the army or navy is to understand their history. The next time you pass someone who’s served and say, “Thank you for your service,” you’ll have a better understanding of you’re thanking them for.
In your local library or bookstore, military books abound. Check out one or two that might tell a fascinating story.
Learn about the unique brother and sisterhood that exists for those who serve. Did you know the challenge coins they exchange are a symbol of a higher purpose?
Or how about the origins of the famous “Oorah” salutation Marines offer one another. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to learn how that started? A simple search for greater knowledge can be a great way to show your support.
Watch a Movie
Like the military history section in your library, military films abound. Line up a military film based on a true story the next time you’re in the mood for a movie night.
Classics include Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line, and A Foreign Field. It doesn’t matter which era you choose to learn more about. Military men and women are often cut from a similar cloth. They exude bravery and selflessness in astonishing ways.
Whether you choose a World War II film or something more recent, you’ll walk away with a greater sense of admiration for the men and women who put their lives on the line every time they donned their proud uniforms.
Volunteer at the VA
Local VAs are often looking for thoughtful volunteers who would like to say thank you with tangible service. There are also student volunteer programs for those who want to learn more about military life.
Each office has general everyday needs that local volunteers can fulfill. Or, if you don’t have the bandwidth to donate regular hours throughout the week, you can inquire about your local branch’s fiscal needs.
Perhaps you can become a regular donor. Every little bit you contribute will go a long way to maintaining an important epicenter for local heroes.
Visit Local Veterans
There are many nonprofit organizations out there that arrange for volunteers to visit retired veterans.
Other organizations arrange for people to deliver groceries and other basic needs to veterans who can’t do this for themselves. Your local VA can loop you into these organizations.
One of the most popular organizations is DAV. They’ve been around since 1920, helping people volunteer in meaningful ways.
You can do this through their hospital volunteering program or general assistance program where you grocery shop and run other errands for local heroes.
Say Thank You Today
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Just ask any war hero. If you’re feeling compelled to reach out to local veterans in your community, there are countless ways to do so.
Whether you honor them by displaying an American flag or visiting them in assisted living facilities, you’re doing the right thing.
As you continue to mold a meaningful life that gives back to others, we invite you to keep coming back to visit our site. New articles are continually being updated, with your success in mind.