Veterans have served our country in ways we can't possibly imagine. What they go through overseas is for some, unspeakable, yet they still followed the call to serve our country to protect our freedoms. For many, freedom means more to them than their lives, which is why they were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Unfortunately, they don't always get the recognition and support, which is why we've put together different ways to honor a vet, whether it's a total stranger or a family member or friend who came back from a war.
Ways to honor a vet can be as simple or extravagant as you are willing to do. Just remember to always consider the vet's feelings on it, and make sure they are comfortable with anything planned.
- Donate. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your money goes to vets who need help. There is a wide variety of organizations out there committed to helping veterans, whether it be with housing, an emotional support dog, or healthcare. For many, assimilating back into civilization can be trying, and these organizations strive to make their lives a little bit easier when they come back from serving our country. Donating your time or money to one of these organizations is a wonderful way to give back and say thank you to those who served for us.
- Respect the flag. As a symbol of our freedom, it's important that the flag is shown respect, especially for those who have served. One way to do this is to put miniature stick flags on graves of those who have served, as well as ensure that any neighborhood flags flying are in good condition, and properly disposing of any that are not. Some of these acts may not be seen or noticed, but they still honor vets.
- Show up for them. There are many ways to honor a vet, but one of the easiest is just to show up. In many cases, there are groups that organize care packages to send to those who are active-duty in the military, as well as groups that show up at airports to welcome soldiers home. Not every soldier returning from deployment is lucky enough to have people there when they return, so showing up with a sign or as a show of support can let them know that their sacrifice has not gone unnoticed. There are also different parades around the country for various holidays like Memorial Day or Veterans Day that are specifically made to honor those who have fallen or those who have served. Show up and show your appreciation for all that they did. A homemade sign thanking them for their service can mean a lot, as can you just being there, clapping for them.
- Write a note. This can be done if it's someone in your family or someone you don't know. If it's a family member, a letter or card expressing your love for them and your appreciation for what they do can be a heartfelt gift that they can treasure forever. For those you don't know, sending a letter or postcard thanking this unknown veteran can mean the world to them, especially coming from a total stranger.
Finding different ways to honor a vet may be the easiest task there is. In many cases, it doesn't require a lot of money, but does require your time, and a smile. If this is a cause that is near to your heart, try one of our suggestions and honor a vet who served our country.