Veterans Day means something different to each of us. Maybe you’ve fought in a conflict at some point throughout your own military career or you have a son or daughter who is currently in active duty somewhere in the world. Perhaps you simply respect and admire the courage and tenacity required to exist in today’s military. Regardless of your personal affiliation with individual veterans or our collective Armed Forces, this Veterans Day (November 11th) is the perfect time to show your appreciation for our fighting men and women. Here are five ways to do so.
Hire a Veteran
One of the biggest gestures you can make if you own or manage a business is to extend a job offer to a veteran. There are tax benefits that come from hiring a veteran (the IRS offers up to a $9,600 tax credit for doing so), but the real boost to your business comes from the incredible work ethic and diverse pool of skills that most veterans bring to the job. This is especially important for vets who have recently transitioned from active duty to either reserve or retired status.
Visit a Retirement Home
Talk about one of the most meaningful things you can do, especially if you’re able to bring along your young kids as mini-ambassadors of goodwill on Veterans Day. Most retirement homes across the nation will gladly invite people in on Veterans Day to talk with residents who have prior military service. Even a short visit can bring so much joy and happiness to a retired military member, especially considering how many retirement home residents suffer from loneliness.
Support Veterans on Thanksgiving
Yes, it’s two weeks after Veterans Day, but recognizing the accomplishments and sacrifices of our veterans shouldn’t be limited to only November 11th. Support one of the organizations in your community that is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner event or invite a service member into your home for your turkey day meal.
Start a Letter Writing Campaign
You can get your kids in on this one, too! For the cost of a few stamps, envelopes, and pieces of paper, write a letter that demonstrates your respect and appreciation for the sacrifices and achievements of our veterans. Drop it in the mail on the Tuesday before Veterans Day - or hand deliver if you’re focusing on those in your community. The lasting impact will make your lucky recipients feel honored for years to come.
Help Out Around the Home
While our Armed Forces veterans may range in age from 19 to 100+, there is no reason why we can’t help out with whatever their around-the-house chores may be. This is especially helpful for those veterans who have been injured or disabled as a result of their duties in the service. Find out if a full house cleaning, a leaf cleanup in the yard, or a general household task or two would help a veteran. Then, enlist the services of your friends and family to get it done quickly. A little effort goes a long way toward making a veteran feel respected and remembered.
This Veterans Day, think less about your plans over the three-day weekend and more about how you can serve those who have served our nation so courageously. Happy Veterans Day, America!