Veterans deserve more than empty gestures one day a year. Amen? Oh, I know you mean it when you say, “Thanks for serving,” on Veterans Day. I do too – but shouldn’t we do more? They certainly don’t want to be put on a pedestal, but most civilians do WANT to do more for our military. My challenge for Veterans Day 2017 is to put some action to our words in simple ways. Here are fabulous ideas to REALLY thank a Veteran this week and the whole year!
How to thank a Veteran – for real
If you want to join our family in getting your own fam involved in some meaningful action, pick one or more of the “how-tos” below.
Slip them a surprise
As you thank a Veteran for their service with a handshake, slip a gift card into their hand in one smooth motion. Here’s the important part: turn and walk away before they have to respond! Simply buy a couple gift cards with small amounts of cash or restaurant/store credit on them (to places like McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, Starbucks, or Walmart).
Too much? You can thank a Veteran by sending an Exchange gift card that can be used by those who are deployed to Afghanistan, Kuwait, and other contingency locations. These gift cards, e-gift cards, or calling cards can be addressed to particular soldiers or sent to any service member.
Ask them questions and then listen
Veterans know that civilians don’t really have a clue what their life has been like – and that’s OK. They love it when people ask them questions about their lives and/or prior service. I’ve found this to be especially true with the older gentlemen, and they’ll chat about it as long as you’ll listen! I found that out one day when met one in the organics aisle.
Pay for a meal or dessert
There are many ways to go about this and have fun with it while being discreet. 1) Pay for service member behind you in the drive-thru. 2) Ask your waitress to discreetly let you pay the bill of a military member near you in a restaurant. 3) Order and pay for a special dessert for a table of military folk as you leave the restaurant. It only counts if you keep it anonymous!
Find Veterans group or organization
Buy things from Veterans
Buy what you would normally buy anyway – from a Veteran-owned business because it is a win-win for everyone. Check out sites like this one to find out which are Veteran-owned businesses.
Share your knowledge
People don’t know what they don’t know, right? This is especially true for the younger generation. My kiddos have grown up with practically every man on both sides of the family serving in the military. Our oldest joined the ranks himself. Some families aren’t full of military folk, though, so here are some things to share with them. It’s so important that the young ones understand, “What is a Veteran,” and how to say, “Thank you, soldiers!”
Check out all of the businesses that want to honor our military AND Veterans Day Events that your family (even if civilian) may want to attend:
- Veterans Day Events across the country!
- Restaurants & other businesses giving back to Veterans
- 82 restaurants having Veterans Day Free Meals in 2017
- More Veterans Day discounts, sales, & deals
- Military Travel and Recreation Discounts for Veterans Day
- Veterans Day Retail Deals and Discounts
PLEASE SHARE SO THEY CAN FIND OUT ABOUT THE DISCOUNTS!