Have you or someone you know served in the U.S. armed forces? Many of us have little idea of what the day-to-day for members of this critical national force is like. The men and women who serve aren't just a defensive force for our country. During peacetime, they travel the world helping other nations and contributing to critical projects at home.
Veterans Day only comes once a year, and it's easy to overlook. You can recognize the incredible contribution made by veterans of the armed forces on Veterans Day, or any day, by doing these simple things.
Say Thank You
More than anything, veterans will appreciate that you recognize their service. If you know someone who served, make an effort to give them a call or tell them in person that you're grateful for them. Even if you don't support the cause, you can still support the commitment of the troops.
Many businesses use a gesture such as a special discount for military members or a small military-themed gift included with their purchase to let servicemen and women know that they're appreciated.
You might be surprised to know that many veterans want to chat about their experiences. Be respectful when you ask, someone might really appreciate the chance to tell their story.
Even though there are many government programs for the assistance of veterans, traumatic experiences can change a person's life forever, and the need for funding is always on the rise.
You're probably familiar with some of the organizations to which you can donate to help veterans. The Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled American Veterans, and, of course, the USO are all well-established organizations you can easily give to. Also, programs like Operation Write Home and Homes for our Troops let you lend a hand without making a monetary contribution.
Host a Client/Employee Appreciation Lunch
Many offices have Veterans Day off or the option of a floating holiday to recognize the occasion. That is, of course, appropriate, but you can still plan an event close to the holiday to honor the veterans that work in the office or a client that you know has served his or her country.
One way to recognize those members of your organization who’ve served is to gather photographs of them in uniform and send a companywide email or intranet post giving thanks.
Hold a Coupon Drive
Armed forces members can use coupons up to six months past their expiration dates. When people return home from service and face lower wages, this can come in handy. Help them out by gathering your old and new coupons at the office. They might not be for items you need, but they are much better off put to use by service members than thrown in the recycling bin.
It's an old tradition, but it's a good one. If you're going to fly a flag, make sure that you know how to present it properly. There is no more appropriate show of respect.
Don’t forget, you can and should do these things every day of the year. These people stand guard 24/7, 365 days a year, so a little thank you is the least we can do.
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