Ideas for Thanking a Veteran


    Have you stopped to take a moment and thank all the veterans, past and present, who have served our country? We should thank them for all the hard work and sacrifices they have made for the rest of us Americans. 

    Any time provides an excellent moment to thank our brave and selfless military veterans. However, Veterans Day, which is celebrated every November 11th, gives a perfect opportunity to show our appreciation, gratitude, and honor to our servicemen and women who have served every branch of the US armed forces.

    It can be quite hard to know what to do besides saying, “Thank you for your service.” If you need some more inspiration, you’ve stumbled to the right place!

    Veterans Day is unlike Memorial Day, which is a solemn occasion. Because of this, greeting veterans with “Happy Veterans Day” can be used in the same way a greeting such as “Happy Birthday,” “Merry Christmas,” or “Happy Thanksgiving” is used. But if you want to come up with something more inventive than saying “Happy Veterans Day” and really let our veterans feel your appreciation, here are some fantastic suggestions:

    1. Thank them with the most heartfelt words of appreciation – You will want to tell veterans with words, such as, “Thank you so much for your service to our country the way you did. I am proud to be your son/daughter/grandson/granddaughter/husband/wife/friend, etc. You may not think of yourself as a hero, but to me, you truly are.”  Many veterans would tell you that they are not heroes but simply did their duty as an American. But let them know how much you think of them and tell them that in your eyes, they’re heroes. Give them a hug as you say your words of thankfulness and appreciation.
    2. Send them patriotic flowers – If a veteran you know loves flowers and appreciates receiving them, be sure to buy a patriotic flower arrangement with red, white, and blue flowers. Include a note or a card to tell them how grateful you are for their service. It would be nice to add the patriotic bouquet with red, white, and blue ribbons, balloons, and a mini-American flag.
    3. Invite them over to dinner – Many veterans don’t have a family around, are separated from them, or live alone in nursing homes. If you know a veteran in such a situation, invite them over to a Veterans Day dinner barbecue at your backyard. Tell them how much you are grateful their service. 
    4. Buy a meal to a homeless veteran – We have seen many homeless veterans standing by the roadside holding signs asking for food, money, shelter, warmth, or all of them. And while there is no certain way to tell that their veteran claims are legitimate, it should not matter. Buy them a meal or anything they need, and thank them for their service. Your act of kindness, gratitude, and appreciation will touch them.
    5. Ask a veteran for stories about their time in the service – Do you have a friend or a loved one who has served the country? While some veterans may not want to talk about their war experience due to tragedy or trauma, others see serving the country as the best time of their lives. When they are ready to open up to you about their service, take a few minutes to listen to their stories – and listen to them patiently.
    6. Donate or volunteer to a veterans’ organization in their name – If a veteran you know knows an organization dear to them, consider donating or doing volunteer work to the cause in their name. Organizations such as the American Legion, Habitat for Humanity, and Paralyzed Veterans of America, to name a few, need donations or volunteers to aid with their veterans’ outreach programs. Donating or volunteering to such organizations is not only a way to say “thank you” to our men and women who served and fought for our country, it provides an eye-opening personal experience, too.
    7. Find a community event – Whether you live near or far a military base, there’s likely a veterans organization in your locality hosting some sort of a veterans’ day event. Contact your local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) or American Legion for good leads, and take your family or friends out to join in the local community fun.
    8. Send a series of cards or letters – Veterans will definitely appreciate receiving a letter or a card on Veterans Day. To make the enjoyment last longer, have everyone you know – friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc. — write cards or letters. But instead of sending all of them in one package, mail them one at a time, preferably every other day or every couple of days. This way, they’ll have a week or two of receiving cards or letters. They will appreciate your gesture and might write you back, telling you, “thank you so much for your support.”
    9. Make your life worth dying for – Our brave and selfless veterans have stood ready to fight and defend our freedom. Strive to be worth their service and sacrifice.
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