As we plan our upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, consider these 20 ways to honor veterans beyond Memorial Day. We will certainly enjoy our cookouts, parades and a day off, thanks to their service.
Here are some ideas to discuss with your family and friends to honor our living veterans and to pay tribute to those who have gone before us and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
1. Volunteering to place flags on military graves
Growing up, my Dad brought me and my siblings along before Memorial Day to place flags on the graves of servicemen and women. We were instructed that this was a solemn task and no complaining was tolerated. I can remember hot days, cold days, rainy days and bug-infested days. It didn’t matter to Dad. He would explain that our servicemen and women endured these conditions and much worse to keep us safe and free. It was a regular family project that left a deep impression on all of us. Contact your local American Legion or VFW organization to volunteer your time during the military holidays and all year long.
2. Reach out to a military family in your community
Extend a hand in friendship to a military family. Invite them over for a meal, bring them a meal or invite them out for dinner. Something as simple as running an errand or taking a walk together can forge a friendship. If Mom or Dad is deployed, there will be additional challenges for the spouse at home. Get to know them and find out what you can offer. Simple gestures such as clipping extra diaper coupons, cutting the grass or helping to put up Christmas lights can mean so much when you are alone.
3. Put it in writing
Write a letter of thanks to a military family, those currently in the service or a veteran through Operation Gratitude.
4. Gather for a send-off
The Pease Greeters are a volunteer group of individuals who see our troops off at the airport when they leave the US and head for the Middle East. The Pease Greeters always give out gifts to the soldiers along with snacks they can take on the airplane. Connect with them and join them for a send-off or donate so they can provide care packages.