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Veterans Day is coming up. Next week, on November 11, Americans will have the opportunity to show their gratitude for the men and women who sacrificed so much in defense of freedom. Many people look forward to Veterans Day simply because it’s a day off of work. But while people should not feel guilty about enjoying their time off, they should also make sure to set aside a little time to honor the meaning of the holiday and show their appreciation. Unsure of what to do? Here are four ways you can honor America’s service members this year on Veterans Day.


1. Attend a Veterans Day event in your town. Most cities and towns will have a Veterans Day parade or ceremony, and attending is a simple, not to mention fun, way to say thanks. It may not seem like much, but showing up can say a lot. Seeing people clap as they walk by in a parade, hearing their cheers, it can mean a lot to vets who otherwise may not often get to feel like heroes. On Veterans Day, just by showing up, you can help make them feel like the heroes they are.

2. Say thank you. It sounds obvious, right? Saying thank you to a vet on Veterans Day seems like a given. But maybe you don’t know any veterans, or you aren’t able to attend your local Veterans Day events. What then? Organizations like Operation Gratitude and Kids Thank A Veteran can give you the opportunity to show your gratitude. Your local VFW or American Legion outpost might be willing to deliver your messages or packages to veterans as well.

3. Donate to a military charity. There are a lot of organizations out there dedicated to helping veterans, and many of them do phenomenal work. But they can’t do it without our support, which is where you come in. Consider writing a check to a charity like the Semper Fi Fund, which provides assistance wounded or critically ill service members from all five branches of the military, as well as their families. Brown Paper Tickets Salutes is an organization that gives people the ability to purchase tickets for local events, such as football games, concerts, comedy shows, and more, and delivers them directly to a veteran who needs a night out.

4. Visit a veteran. Call your local VA hospital and see if they are having any special events for Veterans Day. If not, see what their policies are for visitors, or if you can sign up to volunteer in some capacity on Veterans Day. While you’re there, visit with one of the vets there. Talk to them, ask them about their service… and make sure to tell them how much you appreciate what they’ve done for our country. Another place to consider visiting is a retirement home. You can call and see if there are veterans at a retirement home in your area that would like some visitors; stopping by to talk to them and say thank you just might make their day.

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