Veterans Day is November 11th. It’s the one day of the year that’s officially dedicated to celebrating veterans for all the sacrifices they make in selflessly defending our freedom. But how do we properly express our gratitude for the enormous contribution our veterans have made? Here are some ideas, big and small!
Wear a Poppy
You’ll probably come across a vets’ group selling poppies on or around Veterans Day. The donations they receive go to veteran-focused initiatives. So purchase a poppy and wear it proudly!
Send a Card
Sign, seal, and deliver (or snail mail) a handwritten note of thanks—or go the digital route and email a thank-a-veteran e-card like one of these to your favorite vet!
Throw a Veterans Day Party
Host a special dinner for the veteran(s) in your life! If you don’t have a veteran in your family, offer to help plan something for a veteran friend, or friend’s family member who served, or volunteer at a local event celebrating vets in your area.
Start a Family Discussion
If you have a veteran in your family, ask him or her to regale you with stories from their time in the service. If you don’t have a veteran in your family, adopt one—and ask them to tell their stories! Make it a point to talk with your kids about the heroes that serve in our nation’s military, the sacrifices they make, and why they deserve to be celebrated.
Visit injured veterans in the hospital, create care packages, or donate your unique skills or expertise to serve veterans and their families. You’ll find many ways to volunteer here, and here, and here!
Create an Online Tribute
Honor your veteran, living or deceased, with a permanent online tribute. You can share a LifePost with friends and family—and re-visit it whenever you want. It’s easy to get started and a beautiful way to tell your loved one’s story. Plus, you can continue to update it with pictures and stories as you discover them, and invite family and friends to contribute theirs. Take a look at some of our favorite LifePosts about veterans!
Help Someone Create an Online Tribute
If you don’t have a veteran in your family, you likely know someone else who does; help them create a LifePost and share their veteran’s story! You can also adopt a veteran and share their story in honor of Veterans Day!
Visit a National Cemetery
Whether or not you have a loved one buried there, you can pay your respects to our nation’s fallen heroes at any of our national or state veterans cemeteries. You might even consider choosing a soldier to learn about and then share his or her story.
Make a Donation
There are many wonderful organizations that work hard to serve our country’s veterans and rely on donations to do so. CharityWatch’s top-rated charities that help veterans are:
- Armed Services YMCA of the USA
- Bob Woodruff Family Foundation
- Fisher House Foundation
- Gary Sinise Foundation
- Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind
- Homes for Our Troops
- Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
- National Military Family Association
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
- Operation Homefront
- Semper Fi Fund
- Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
- Wounded Warriors Family Support
And don’t forget, there are things you can do every day, not just on Veterans Day, to celebrate our vets and support our troops. Here are some ideas:
Raise a Flag
An easy way to show your pride in our nation and military: proudly display Old Glory—and leave it up all year!
Seek out the restaurants and stores that make a point to support our nation’s heroes, and continue to patronize them after Veterans Day.
Say Thank You
Whenever you come across a veteran, don’t forget to say a simple “thank you for your service.”