Although most people honor and respect veterans, sometimes it is hard to know just how to show your gratitude. It doesn’t take a big bank balance to show that you appreciate veterans. We’ve put together a list of some great ways to show you care.
20 Simple things to do to show you Appreciate Veterans and Members of the Military
- Say thank you. It’s that easy. If you see a member of the military or a veteran walking down the street, in a mall, restaurant or any place, say “thank you for your service.”
- Send greeting cards. Greeting cards with personal notes are always appreciated. Check out your local dollar store, they often sell them two for a dollar.
- Talk to veterans in your family. Chances are someone in your family is a veteran. If they are willing, talk to them about their experiences in the service. You will probably find out things you never suspected and they will love knowing you care enough to ask and listen.
- Visit a veteran’s hospital. There are many vets that are alone. When they are sick or injured a visit in the hospital means more than you may ever know. Nothing says you appreciate veterans like visiting those in need.
- Place flowers on a grave in a veteran’s cemetery. It doesn’t have to be a holiday like Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day to do this. Any day of the year shows you care. While you’re there, if you see an unkempt grave site do a little sprucing up. You’ll feel good for it.
- Read your kids a book about veterans. Start teaching your kids early how our veterans and the military served to keep us free. There are many books that are great for kids. The Wall by Eve Bunting, is an especially good book for kids. It tells about a young boy and his father that visit the Vietnam Memorial to see the boy’s grandfather’s name there.
- Say something on social media. Whether Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or another social media account is your favorite, mention how you appreciate veterans.
- Take care of a military member’s pet while they are deployed. The last thing a member of the military needs to worry about is their pet while they are deployed. Dogs on Deployment is a non-profit that matches service members with volunteers to keep their pet while gone.
- Pay for a meal in a restaurant. If you see a vet or military member at a restaurant ask your server to bring you their bill so you can pay for their meal. You don’t even have to let them know it was you.
- Volunteer to visit or feed the homeless. There are many homeless veterans. If you volunteer at a homeless shelter you are almost certain to encounter vets. Don’t forget to thank them for their service!
- Visit a VA retirement home. Take with you some large print books or offer to read to them. So many veterans in retirement are very lonely and relish talking with people.
- Have your dog certified as a therapy dog. You and your four-legged friend will both be gratified by the joy that comes from a therapy dog visiting hospitals and retirement homes. Dogs are wonderful companions and can easily show that they appreciate veterans too!
- Offer a veteran discount. If you are self-employed, be sure to have special offers and discounts for veterans. If you are an employee speak with the owner or management about doing this to show that the business does appreciate veterans.
- Help a veteran with their resume. When members of the military transition to the civilian workforce they often have no resume or place to start. An impressive resume makes a difference. Help a vet write their resume to make their work experience in the military shine through to how it will help them with a new job.
- Buy products and patronize businesses that support veterans. There are several organizations and businesses that donate a portion of their proceeds to help veterans. Here at Happy Joe we have a special website for just that. There are many others too, for example Snap-on Tools is an official sponsor of the Honor Flight Network.
- Be a mentor. If you have business experience, are an entrepreneur, or have talents you can share, mentor a vet. We have our own program here at Happy Joe or simply connect with a vet that needs a mentor. Mentorship truly makes a difference.
- Volunteer at the USO. Military members count on the USO at airports and other locations. Whether it is a regular volunteer shift, cheering troops when they come home, or simply listening, the USO provides a wonderful way to help.
- Help remodel homes for disabled veterans. Vets in wheelchairs or with special needs often need their home to accommodate their special circumstances. Building wheelchair ramps or wider door thresholds are a big help.
- Offer your babysitting services. This works for even young teens and adults. Every parent can use a night out and veterans are no exception. Offer to watch the kids for an evening while the parents get a much needed break and time alone.
- Give your seat or place in line to a veteran or member of the military. If you are waiting in line at the grocery store, to board a plane, or at the DMV, give your place in line to a vet or military member that is further back in the line.
That’s just a few ways to show your appreciation. Let us know in the comment section below if you have done any of the things in our list or if you have other ways to say you care to a veteran.