If you can’t make it to a Veterans Day parade or ceremony, there are other ways to show your appreciation for the men and women who have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces. Here are a few suggestions - you can practice them year-round:
- Watch and be inspired by this 2:30 video as several Lakewood Ranch High School Theater students deliver cards, pies and ice cream to neighborhood veterans to say, “Thank You!”
- Fly the American flag outside your home.
- Sit down and write a letter to a veteran or active duty service member. Your message doesn’t have to be long, just from the heart. Operation Gratitude has some tips and will distribute your cards and letters.
- Participate in the Veterans History Project – the Library of Congress makes it easy with a step-by-step process.
- If you want to donate to a veteran service organization, check out Charity Navigator’s list of top rated organizations that assist veterans, military and their families.
- Sponsor a wreath for a veteran’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery or at your local VA cemetery through Wreaths Across America.
- Teach your children or grandchildren a patriotic song like America the Beautiful.
- Volunteer time at your local VA facility.
- Accompany a veteran on an Honor Flight, or be there to greet the veterans when they return from their visit to Washington D.C. memorials.
- Spend a quiet hour visiting Sarasota National Cemetery to contemplate those who sacrifice for the country and view the artwork at Patriot Plaza. Or visit your nearest National Cemetery.
A bonus suggestion: if you live with a veteran like I do, hug them and make their favorite meal for dinner. Or visit this Military Avenue link 101 Ways to Thank a Veteran for more inspiration.