It doesn’t need to be Veteran’s Day to appreciate those who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military. If you have a friend or loved one who has served, then consider some of the different ways to thank the veteran in your life. Surprising them with a nice gesture or celebration will always be more impactful anyhow.
Recognize Their Experience
Sometimes the best thing you can do is simply talk to a veteran about what they’ve been through and experienced. While some veterans prefer not to talk about their time in the military, others find it validating and enjoy it. To show an interest in their experience also shows that their efforts are being recognized. Your veteran may even find it therapeutic to be able to share some of the more difficult times they faced.
Volunteer Your Time
As comradery is incredibly important amongst soldiers, a good way to thank the veteran in your life is by helping their brothers and sisters in arms. Donate your time to charities that help veterans receive any aid they may need after they’ve given their all to the military. Many veterans end up disabled and even homeless, and these outreach programs are crucial for getting them off the streets and instead given what they deserve as veterans.
Give a Gift
Who doesn’t love a thoughtful gift? This is a great option for those with loved ones expecting to be redeployed. The gift will become a memento of your love and appreciation while they’re away. Something practical like new equipment may make their deployment easier, or something simple and personal will give them a small piece of you to take with them overseas.
Honor the Fallen
If the veteran in your life has passed away either in the line of duty or after it, you can still recognize and honor them with a military service funeral. Whether it be a standard honors or full honors service, national cemeteries will show your veteran the respect and honor they deserve as they go to their final resting place. These services are always beautiful and emotionally touching, so be assured you will look about such a service with nothing but fond memories once your veteran has been honored as the hero they are.