Every year on November 11th in the United States, Americans honor the veterans who served to protect the country during times of conflict. The United States Armed Forces consist of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, Coast Guard, and Space Force. Their all-volunteer personnel is one of the largest military forces in the world. Expressing our gratitude to those who have served is a long-time tradition in the United States. Whether they’ve served during peacetime or wartime, each service member chose to serve their country and knew at any moment they may be asked to sacrifice everything, including their life, to protect the country they call home. And though Veteran’s Day is one day a year, these 9 Ways to Honor Veterans can happen all year long.
Sometimes it may seem difficult to show our appreciation for those who are often too proud to acknowledge their own sacrifices. However, there are several, meaningful ways to honor these warriors.
1. Fly the United States Flag
The U.S. flag goes by many names, including the Stars and Stripes, Old Glory, Stars and Bars, Red, White and Blue, and The Star-Spangled Banner. And it’s the first of 9 ways to honor veterans. It’s a visual tribute that signifies your support. However, there are proper ways to hang the flag that shows respect to it and the Nation. The U.S. flag should always fly higher than other flags. It should be hung horizontally or vertically with the 50 stars (the union) to the upper right. For a complete guide to displaying the U.S. flag, visit aflag.com.
Around the country, many organizations support U.S. veterans. Volunteering for these organizations demonstrates your support of our veterans. Your ability to organize, fundraise, or provide necessary skills honors those veterans in small and big ways. Some of these organizations are run by veterans, too. Some organizations to consider supporting include:
- The Lions Club
- Sons of the American Revolution
- Daughters of the American Revolution
- VA Center for Development and Civic Engagement
- Disabled American Veterans
- Homes for Our Troops
- Honor Flight Network
- VA Voluntary Service
3. Hire a Veteran
Our veterans are some of the best trained and educated people you will ever know. Hiring a veteran allows them the opportunity to thrive in the civilian world and to continue to support their family. A veteran may have skills in technology, security, sales, healthcare, finance, and many more areas.
4. Offer a Discount
Businesses around the country offer discounts on everything from a cup of coffee to services. Honoring veterans with a discount may not seem like much, but sometimes a little bit goes a long way.
5. Support Veteran-Owned Businesses
When you support a veteran-owned business, you are showing them the respect they’ve earned. You also support your community. Many veterans start small businesses in the community where they live. This means they are also giving back to their community by providing employment, paying taxes, and supporting local schools. When these businesses thrive, so does your community. Be sure also to sing their praises for excellent service. Whether you give them five stars on their app, write a review, invest in their business, or make a recommendation to a friend, these are some of the best ways to show your support for a veteran-owned business in addition to spending your money there.
Veteran organizations support our heroes in many ways. They support our veterans by providing shelter in times of need, offer services for wounded and disabled veterans, train service animals, and much, much more. Your donations keep these organizations going.
7. Attend Services
Communities across the country host Veteran’s Day events. These events may include parades, exhibits, and speeches paying tribute to their veterans. Churches and other volunteer organizations also hold annual events commemorating the day. Attending these events shows your appreciation for the veterans who have served.
8. Be There
Ask a veteran you know out for coffee, to go fishing, or over for dinner. Whether it is a family member, a neighbor, coworker, show them you appreciate them through your actions. When they ask you to volunteer for their organization, step up. If they need someone to talk to, be that someone. And don’t wait to be asked – they may never ask even though they may need to hear a kind word or two. Write them a letter or a card of encouragement or ask about their service. Befriend a veteran and recognize their history in the military.
9. Honor Your Employees
There are many ways that businesses can honor their employees. Businesses can host a luncheon, organize a community event, honor them in your newsletter or support their endeavors with veterans organizations.
There are more than 9 Ways to Honor Veterans, but this list is a good way to start.
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