This past Monday was Veteran’s Day and I feel that thanking Vets for their service to our nation only one day in the year is not fair in contrast to what they have given us. I know that our lives are busy and that times are hectic, but I want to do better. I am always striving to be better than I was the previous year and I think this year I’m going to add this to the list. I am going to try to go out of my way to thank Vets for their service.
I feel like supporting our troops is something that we should always keep in mind. They should never feel like we have forgotten them just because they are not here with us. A great way to let them know that you remember and that you care is to send a care package.
15 Small Ways to Thank Veteran’s
Veteran’s day shouldn’t be the only day that we remember and rcognize their service. We should make an effort every day to make sure that they know we appreciate what they have gone through. For some it may have been decades ago. For others it may have just been last week.
- Buy a Buddy Poppy.
- Attend a Veteran’s Day event.
- Ask a Veteran about their service in the military.
- Thank a Veteran for their service.
- Take flowers to a Veteran’s memorial.
- Clean the graves of Veteran’s who have passed.
- Hang a flag. Veterans fought for our freedom and country.
- Volunteer at a local retirement home.
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
- Honor your family members who are Veterans.
- Honor your coworkers and friends who are Veterans.
- Make sure your children and grandchildren know about the Vets in your family.
- Help young children make a thank you card.
- Study current or past conflicts.
- Talk to a Veteran.
These are made by Veteran’s as part of their rehabilitation and are sold to help raise money for the Veteran’s Association. Wear it all day and then put it on your purse or bag. When people ask what it is, explain to them what it signifies.
A lot of the time, these events are empty and no one really shows up. Make sure that the event is well attended and that the Veterans know you are there for them.
Ask them where and when they served and really listen to the answer. They probably haven’t been able to talk about it in a while. It lets them know that you appreciate their service.
It doesn’t have to be a long conversation. It doesn’t even have to be formal. A quick handshake and a “Thank you for your service.” Lets them know that you notice them.
This lets the people who are visiting the memorial know that their loved ones service has not been forgotten.
By the time many Veteran’s pass away, they are the only ones left in their families. Caring for their resting places is a nice way of showing your admiration and respect for them.
Show them that you take pride in those by hanging a flag in your yard or place of business.
A lot of Veterans toward the end of their days end up in a retirement or nursing home. Again, they are usually the last ones left in their families and so they don’t get many visitors. Go see them. Talk to them. Read a book to them. It will mean the world to them.
Its an unfortunate truth that many Veterans end up homeless. So taking some time to help in a homeless shelter will show that you appreciate them.
My grandfather served in Germany right after the Second World War. We always make sure that he is honored and that he knows we appreciate his service.
I know there are always at least a few Veterans in the workforce. You probably didn’t even realize that they were Vets until this past week. Make sure they know that you appreciate them.
Tell them about their relatives who served. Show them pictures. Pass on the stories.
The next generation will be the ones continuing the traditions of this one. Make sure they understand what they should be doing for our Veterans.
You can never really understand what our Veterans went through, but learning about the conflicts may deepen your awareness. I know history has always been important to me to help me understand what people are going through.
Many times they are lonely or don’t get to talk to people very often. This simple thing can make a huge difference to someone.
Sending Care Packages to Our Troops
Veterans are not the only ones we should be thinking about more often. We should consider our men and women who are currently serving in the military. This time of year is a hard time for them. They are away from their families through the most family oriented season. Now would be a good time to send them a care package.
There are many organizations that can help you with sending a care package. They are able to ship the packages over there to the bases for you. And they all have guides on their websites that can help you decide what would be good to send. Here are some general rules of thumb for sending them.
What to Include:
- Good Quality Socks.
- Toothpaste, toothbrush and floss.
- Lip Balm.
- Foot powder.
- Baby Wipes.
- Pain-relieving topical cream.
- Vick VapoRub.
- Sewing Kits.
- Lens Cleaning Cloths.
- Reading Material.
- Handheld Video Games
- Board Games
- Decks of Cards
- Ipod or thumb drives with movies, music and pictures.
- Plastic model kits
- Baseball gloves/Baseballs
- Wall Hooks.
- Hot Sauce.
- Water Flavoring Packets.
- Beef Jerky.
- Protein Bars.
- Sunflower Seeds.
- A thank you card or handwritten note.
They are on their feet constantly and don’t really get to wash them as often as they would like.
They prefer travel size and it shouldn’t be an aerosol.
Can you imagine having super chapped lips in a desert and not having any lip balm?
Again, they don’t really get to wash their socks enough.
Let’s face it, these are a god-send when you have a mess and they are great for cleaning gear.
This is a huge luxury. They will often have blisters and burns and not be able to get any relief from them.
Taco Bell sauce packets are as good as gold according to one Vet.
What Not to Include:
Care Package Organizations
You can find a full list of organizations on the DoD website. These organizations have been vetted by the military and by the Better Business Bureau. They will be happy to help you send your items.
Here at Nelson Design Group, we support our troops and thank all of our Veterans for their service to our country.
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