Veteran's Day - The Importance of Honoring & Giving Thanks to our Vets
Veteran’s Day seems to fall into that class of American holidays that typically includes one of the following activities: hanging with your buddies or family, eating or drinking way too much, catching up on chores or errands, or just plain relaxing and doing nothing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those activities, as long as we don’t forget why we have this day, and who this day honors.
While Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May) honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans–living or dead–but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country.
The classical image of the American veteran seems to be the older man who proudly served his country during one of the “Great” wars. But did you know that veterans come from all different walks of life and of all different ages? Sometimes, they are younger, are women, or homeless people we tend to ignore in the streets.
What do ALL Veterans Have in Common? They all have served YOU…
Every day on duty, their lives are at risk. They get assigned to foreign countries and fight alongside or against total strangers. From hunting down terrorists to maintaining peace and order, there is not a moment when their lives are not in danger.
Most of the time, they don’t get their names in the paper or their pictures on TV. Yet more than anyone these men and women manage to keep the peace. If there is only one reason why we should honor veterans, it’s for this one. Just take a moment to recognize that they fought for you.
Every time you take your kid to the zoo or your wife to the restaurant, think of a soldier who was unable to do so. He/she couldn’t because they were assigned to another country to fight.
It isn’t just the soldier that is making a sacrifice. His/her family goes through a lot too. Think of those who went to Iraq, Afghanistan, or other war zones. If you think it’s hard for them, what of their families? Try to put yourself in their shoes. This is why we should honor veterans. Can you imagine your son or daughter in a war zone?
Not only do they serve in wars but they also provide aid, hope, security, and smiles.
Five Simple Ways to Honor a Veteran on Veteran’s Day:
1. The Obvious Play: Go up to the veteran, look them in the eyes, smile wide, shake their hand, and sincerely thank them for their service. This is an extremely cost-effective way to let a veteran know how they are appreciated.
2. Buy a Veteran a Meal/Coffee: If you know a veteran invite them out to lunch/coffee; or if you see a vet while you are out and about, go up to that veteran and let them know you would like to pay for their meal/coffee. After that, look them in the eyes, smile wide, shake their hand, and sincerely thank them for their service.
3. Volunteer or Donate to the VA (U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs): Click this link for information on how to donate to the VA or how to volunteer in your specific state: http://www.volunteer.va.gov/apps/VolunteerNow/default.asp
4. With a Salute: The next time you see a veteran, give him or her a salute. If you get the chance to talk, let them know how much you appreciate what they’ve done for the country. Let them know that the sacrifices they made were not in vain.
5. Always in our thoughts and Prayers: Let them know that their well-being and safety are always part of your prayers. And don’t forget to tell them that you are grateful for their courage in defending the country from harm.
I guarantee you that if you do any of those five steps, you will have successfully honored a veteran on Veteran’s Day.