5 ways to honor a veteran
Each year when November 11 rolls around, many retail stores are eager to advertise their Veterans Day sales and promotions. Granted, you may get a great deal on that new pair of shoes you've been eyeing up, but how much will that 25% off sale at the department store really do to honor veterans?
Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served our country. This year instead of shopping the sales, check out one of our top 5 picks for honoring soldiers, both past and present, this Veterans Day:
- The suicide rate among many veterans is staggering. Some experts suggest that it's because they feel they had a duty and mission while serving in the military and, when they return home, struggle to find their purpose.
Consider working with the non-profit organization, The Mission Continues. They help empower veterans who are adjusting to life after the military to find purpose through civic action. They deploy veterans on new missions in their communities so that their legacy will be one of leadership and service.
- Grant a wounded warrior's wish. The Wounded Warrior Project's mission is to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members. They provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members. Learn how you can get involved.
- Who hasn't been moved by the images of veterans arriving at the airport after returning from an honor flight? The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all their sacrifices. They transport our heroes to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to senior veterans, World War II survivors, along with other veterans who may be terminally ill. You can help by volunteering or donating.
- Even small acts of caring can make an impact. When you see a soldier or veteran eating at a restaurant, let the waiter/waitress know that you'd like to pay for their meal. Or, visit your local VA retirement home and bring some home-baked cookies. The challenge is to make it more than a once-a-year event. Form a friendship with a veteran that lasts throughout the year.
- Replace your worn or faded flag by bringing it to your local American Legion. While there, thank the veterans who are serving and ask to hear their story. The American Legion holds special ceremonies to properly and legally dispose of unserviceable flags in a dignified manner.
Consider these tangible ways to honor veterans this year. While it is unfortunate that all generations have known war, it is truly fortunate that we have our veterans to thank for our protection.