While Veterans Day is a time to honor those among us who were willing to make the ultimate commitment to serve our country, I believe it should not be limited to one day.
There are many easy ways for you to show appreciation for our Veterans year-round:
1) Just say something simple like, “Thank you for your service to our country.” Many Veterans have never actually been told that before and it’s such an easy thing to do.
2) Pay it forward with a random act of kindness and pay for a veteran’s meal the next time you are out to eat or visiting your favorite coffee house.
3) Make a new friend with a Veteran. Talk to them and ask them about themselves and their families. Unfortunately, 22 Veterans a day commit suicide due to PTSD and depression from their experiences during wartime. You’ll never really know if those few kind words you might speak to a Veteran that you meet may just give them a reason to stay alive for another day.
4) Donate some money and volunteer your time to the USO, Wounded Warrior Foundation, 22Kill, Honor Flight, or any of the other many worthy Veteran organizations.
5) Visit your area’s National Cemetery and place flowers and flags on the graves of some of our Veterans who paid the ultimate price and lost their lives during war.
6) Go to a retirement home and spend a few minutes getting to know some Veterans who would love to share their stories with you.
7) Prepare some care packages and send them to some active duty soldiers who are far from home in a foreign land and would appreciate a small gift from home.
8) If you know a Veteran, make it a special occasion to take them out to eat and tell them thank you for what they did for you and your family. Make sure you get the story of their service written down.
9) If you are at the age where you can babysit, offer to volunteer and babysit for free for a Veteran, or for an active-duty military spouse who would appreciate some time to themselves since their loved one is away on duty and they are home alone.
10) Make a promise to yourself to do one nice thing for a Veteran this holiday seasons that you wouldn’t have normally done. Make that season special for a Veteran.
I would like to take a moment to say a special “Thank You” to my Great Grandfather Pop Wahrer for his service during WWII, and my Grandpa Nick for his service during Vietnam. I wish I could also say “Thank You” to my family member Veterans who have already passed away like my Grandpa Richard and Great Grandfather Pop Manser – I will meet them someday. There are so many reasons to be thankful for what we have in this great country and for the protection that our Veterans have provided for us over the years. Please be sure to show a Veteran your appreciation not only on Veterans Day, but also throughout the year.
Happy holidays, everyone!
Miss Teen Texas International 2015