Honoring Veterans Today and All Days

Honoring Veterans Today and All Days
November 8, 2021 Maggie Lynch
In philosophy
Flag with Thank You, Veterans

Veterans Day is November 11th. That is only three days away. Have you thought about how you are going to take time to honor veterans on that day?

Anyone who has followed me and my posts know that Veterans are a part of my family, my friends, and those I hold dear. Our eldest was in the Marine Corps and served tours in Iraq. His wife was in the Navy during the same time, with deployments in the area. His grandfather served in Korea and other relatives and grandparents, uncles served in WWII. I have friends, both women and men, who served in Vietnam. Some died. Others made it home with continuing PTSD. A few made it home and are okay.

I think it is important we always remember their service–whether it was here in the U.S. or abroad, whether it was in war or in peace. For those who are in their 40s or younger, you may not remember a time when Veterans did not feel the love of Americans. I remember when Veterans were returning from Vietnam and because of the politics surrounding the war, many Americans blamed it on them for going. After watching their buddies die, participating in a war perhaps they didn’t believe in or even know the purpose, they were vilified. I hope that never happens again.

Some people Think Veterans Day and Memorial Day are the same thing. They are not. Memorial Day is honoring those who have died. Veterans Day is honoring all Veterans. For me, it is especially honoring those who are still with us. Here are five ways that you might choose to honor Veterans on Veterans Days and on other days.

  1. Donate to a Veteran’s Nonprofit Organization – There are many wonderful organizations who offer all manner of support, services and appreciation for our service members. Military.com has a list of several worthy organizations. You might also check one’s specifically local to where you live. Can’t donate? See if you can volunteer to help in other ways. Feeding homeless veterans. Helping in a shelter. Providing clothing to those who find themselves without means to get new shirts or pants or dresses.
  2. Fly the flag on Veteran’s Day.  Just make sure you’re observing the proper rules for display. Not sure exactly what those are? Here are some guidelines from the Veteran’s Administration.
  3. Ask a Veteran About His or Her Service. Almost everyone knows someone–family member, friend, church member–who is a Veteran. Sit down and ask some easy questions. What did you do in the military? How long did you serve? What was your favorite moment in all your time in the service? Why did you choose to go into the service branch you did? Do not probe deeper into their combat experience unless they provide an opening. Do not ask if they killed anyone, or how they feel about war and killing. These are deeply personal and complex matters. Certainly, if theVeteran offers them you should listen and be supportive.
  4. Send a Card or Letter of Appreciation. If you know a veteran who doesn’t live near you, send a simple postcard or write a letter. If you know their email, it can be an email letter or e-card that recognizes them on Veterans Day. If you don’t personally know a veteran, look up the closest military base and send one there addressed to all. Just as you appreciate someone thanking you for things you’ve done in your life, this small act of recognizing someone’s service will be appreciated.
  5. Visit a Veteran’s Organization. Their are numerous organizations, Veteran’s of Foreign Wars is one of them, where Veterans and their families meet regularly. You might take something you made (e.g., cookies, set up a potluck with other friends, something homemade). If you play an instrument or sing, schedule time to entertain the Veterans. If it is allowed, visit a Veteran’s retirement home or a VA hospital to entertain. It just takes a little time to find what is close to you and how you can help.

Let’s all honor those men and women who have served in the military, whether in war or peace. Giving up some years of your life to serve our country is a big ask. I thank all veterans for their service.

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