Veterans are such a crucial part of America’s history and future that one official day to honor them—November 11—doesn’t seem like enough. As Veterans Day approaches, you might be wondering what you can do to show your appreciation beyond displaying a flag and sending patriotic social media posts. If you want to give back to the veterans in this country who give so much, here are some suggestions:
Attend a Veterans Day picnic or parade
Showing appreciation for our veterans can be as simple as showing up to an event that honors them. Bring a dish to share at a designated Veterans Day picnic or barbecue, or bring flags to wave on the sidelines of a Veterans Day parade if there’s one in your area. Seeing a sea of smiling, grateful faces lets veterans know their sacrifices were not in vain.
Visit veterans in the hospital or assisted living facilities
Some veterans are unable to attend events in their honor due to health reasons, so it’s a great idea to bring Veterans Day celebrations to them in a veterans hospital or assisted living facility. Take time to chat with veterans and ask about their service if they’re willing to share. Even if they choose to remain private about combat experience, most have funny stories about boot camp or shore leave that will keep you laughing all afternoon.
Send postcards to veterans
“Snail mail” is almost quaint these days, but veterans will still get a thrill at receiving a special note on Veterans Day. If you don’t know any veterans in your family or social circle, a local military base or veterans association can provide you with the contact information of some local veterans who would love the recognition, even from a stranger.
Donate to veterans charities
Organizations that help veterans in need welcome donations every day of the year, but if you’re looking for a simple yet meaningful way to show your appreciation, a Veterans Day donation is a great option. If you want to be a bit more specific in your donation, check out organizations such as Brown Paper Tickets Salutes, which sends veterans tickets to fun events like sports, concerts, and comedy shows in cities across the country.
Send a care package to active service members
In addition to honoring veterans on Veterans Day, another way to show appreciation for the armed forces is to send a care package to active service members. Packages can include cards, gifts, baked goods, toiletry items, and cards and games to help pass downtime. If you don’t know anyone personally in the military, various organizations such as Operation Gratitude will assemble and send packages for you.
Personalize that care package with a gift from Bullets2Bandages
Along with candy, playing cards, and fresh tubes of toothpaste, consider a personalized gift to include in your military care package. Our Bullet Bottle Openers, Six Shooter Shot Glasses, .50 Caliber Tap Handles, and other barware and gifts can be custom engraved with a special message for your special service member. We also donate 15% of our annual profits to veterans charities, so your purchase does double-gift duty.
Posted by Kevin Kelly
Marine Veteran & Content editor and creator.