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5 Ways to Thank a Veteran

November 09, 2022

As a military kid, I knew that my father's job as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Air Force was serious business. And while I've always admired my dad's work ethic, I didn't quite grasp the intensity of his career until I became an adult.

His sense of duty and service has been instilled in me since childhood and continues to shape the way I navigate my own work life — that's something that I will forever be grateful for.

How Do You Show Thanks on Veterans Day?

As Veterans Day 2022 approaches, it's important that we express appreciation and acknowledgement to members of our military, past and present. It serves as an opportunity to celebrate our fearless military men and women for their patriotism and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.


1. Volunteer at the VA

The VA medical centers depend on the altruism and generosity of their volunteers and donors. By donating your time at the VA, you can give back to the vets who have given so much to our country. As a volunteer, you can assist with hospital-related services and can help make veterans' visits more rewarding. If you don't have a local VA office, contact an assisted living or nursing home facility nearby. Even simply chatting with elderly or injured veterans is a great way to bring joy to their day.


2. Send Care Package Overseas

As our U.S. troops continue to deploy and defend our nation overseas, sending care packages is a wonderful way to show support and boost their morale. The first step is to obtain the deployment address from the service member. If you don't know a service member or want to send a package to a random soldier, you can visit AnySoldier.com to find a name and overseas mailing address for service members who have requested it. Necessities such as toiletries and snacks make great additions to care packages.


3. Help Homeless Vets

There are many opportunities to improve and expand the services available to help homeless veterans, either as an individual or as a member of a group or organization. You can help by donating personal care items, clothing (new underwear, socks and T-shirts are always needed) or food, or by making cash contributions to an emergency shelter. Veterans exiting homelessness often require furniture, mattresses and household items.


Mentorship can also play a huge role in helping unhoused veterans. They often need help with learning basic life and social skills and employment skills like resume writing and interview techniques.


4. Donate to a Veterans Charity

Donations and charitable efforts can make a positive impact on our nation's heroes this Veterans Day 2022 (as well as all year round!). The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is currently accepting donations to VA Medical Centers, or you can choose to support several other organizations that benefit veterans: The Wounded Warrior Project provides services and medical help to those in need of physical or mental medical assistance, and Homes for Our Troops builds and donates custom houses to severely injured veterans. Your gift, no matter how big or small, has the potential to change lives!


5. Say Thank You

Thanking a veteran for their service is a simple action that can leave a lasting and meaningful impression. Express your gratitude to local veterans this year by writing thank you notes or sending holiday letters. This could be a great activity for kids to help them appreciate the value of service.


Good to Know

Veteran's Day was created to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country's service and was originally called Armistice Day. It fell on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. In 1954, the holiday was changed to “Veterans Day" in order to honor all veterans in all wars.


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