For 100 years, we've been honoring veterans for their service. What originated as the first anniversary of the end of World War I has become a national holiday to honor and support the brave and their families. This Veterans Day, you and your family can show your support to soldiers for everything they've done and do for our country. Here are five ways to honor veterans on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019.
Support your local VA center
You can show your support by donating or volunteering at a local VA center. Volunteers will be matched by their talents with one of the many important functions throughout the medical center. You can call or visit the VA Voluntary Service Office to learn more information about volunteer opportunities.
You can also donate to a local VA center. Cash donations are used for the comfort and welfare of veteran patients by purchasing bus tickets, hygiene products, recreational activities and more.
If you're interested in donating non-cash contributions, consider:
- Pre-packaged food
- Men's new underwear
- Emergency rain ponchos
Talk as a family
Talk to your children about why we honor our veterans. Learning the history of Veterans Day can help. Perhaps discuss World War I, the effect it had on our country and how Veterans Day celebrates the day that war ended.
Support veterans in your community
Try visiting a wounded veteran in the hospital, either by delivering a meal or care package or by volunteering. If you know a veteran, offer your services. Perhaps that's through helping with home repairs (do they need something fixed?) or by sharing your legal or financial expertise (how can your personal and professional background help them?).
Another idea: Volunteer with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Support veteran families
When soldiers leave to protect our country, they sacrifice many things, including time spent with their families. Even when they do return, they may be dealing with the aftereffects of war, which can, in turn, affect their partners and children. This year, support a veteran by supporting their family.
Try volunteering to babysit so the parents can have a night out together, or deliver a meal for the entire family to enjoy. You can even round up the neighborhood and each find ways to support a local veteran's family with acts of kindness. By supporting a veterans' family, you're showing respect for all the sacrifices they make.
Say thank you
The simplest way to show support is by saying thank you. Veterans sacrifice time with their families, risk their lives and their mental health to protect our country and freedom. While soldiers don't sign up thinking about how many times someone will thank them for what they do, it's nice to be shown appreciation.
Saying thank you is a pure and simple way to show a veteran and their family your support. These two words could change their entire day and make them feel proud to be a veteran.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in November 2017, and updated in November 2019.