I posted last year, and probably will every year. I've enhanced and added, so if you can think of additional ways, please let me know, and I will add them. Remember always
"All Gave Some But Some Gave All!"
1. Take a Veteran out to eat; whether it is a fast-food chain or a fine-dining establishment.
2. Are you a knitter or crocheter? Make a scarf for the cold-winters ahead. Donate them at a local-VFW for a veteran in need or contact Operation Gratitude to see how to donate.
3. Listen to their stories with interest. If they are a war-veteran they have seen things you will never see. Listen and Learn.
4. Call and Visit a local nursing home or VA Hospital. Find out what you can do to help. If you quilt make a blanket for a needy veteran. If you bake call and find out if you can bring in something special. Bring a book to read to a veteran "ready and willing" to listen. We all have talents that can be used.
5. Send an 'E-Card' through the American Legion to the Veterans in your life that use email.
6. Support a Military Family through Operation Homefront. Watch their website for 'current needs': http://www.operationhomefront.net/currentneeds.aspx
7. Military-member at the same restaurant as you? Send them a drink or pay for their dessert.
8. Do you have a website? Make a page dedicated to our military. Need some help finding content for it?: For your site
9. Do you bake? Make an Apple Pie or another specialty and bring it over to a neighbor-veteran. Don't forget to grab a box of ice cream to take. Now I'm hungry!
10. Employers: Host a special luncheon for all of your veterans. Recognize their service to your company and your country.
11. See a veterans group selling poppy flowers? Purchase and wear one. Proceeds made from these sales many times go to disabled, needy, and aging veterans in VA hospitals, State veterans homes and domiciliary across the country.
12. Call them. A grandparent, uncle, aunt, mother, father. Take the time to call them, especially if they live far away, and find out how they are doing.
13. Send a note to your local school to urge the teachers to discuss Veterans Day. Visit Veterans' Day Teacher Resource Guide for some tips.
14. Recognize the Veterans in church on the Sunday before or after Veterans Day
15. Did you know November is also Military Family Month? By thanking the family, you thank the Veteran. Family Matters Blog: Nation Celebrates Military Family Month
16. Nearly 40 % of our veteran population is 65 or older, give a veteran your phone number and ask them to call if they need help around the house. Make a note to call them this winter to see what they need.
17. Have your children paint a picture or write a letter. Send it to your grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, any relative that is a Veteran.
18. Teach your children a patriotic song, like America the Beautiful or the Star Spangled Banner. Instill patriotism early.
19. Employers: Give the veterans in your company a paid afternoon off on Veterans Day.
20. Offer a Military Discount year round and include veterans. Don't forget a Military Discount equals a free ad on MilitaryAvenue.com.
21. Teachers: Invite a Veteran to speak at your school, in a class room or to the entire school.
22. Pray for them and their families, every day.
23. Start a Drive: Ask local businesses to participate in a drive for local veterans or deployed service-members. (Not sure how to send items overseas? Learn more at Give2TheTroops)
24. Know a military family with a deployed member? Take them a treat on Veterans Day as a thank you and ask what you can do to make things easier
25. Do you scrapbook? Make cards through the organization "Operation Write Home". They send them to the troops so that they troops can write letters home on them
26. Clean out your closets and contribute gently used household goods to Vietnam Veterans of America.
27. Do a random act of kindness for a vet or their family. Remain anonymous.
28. Say something to them on Facebook, Twitter, etc thanking them for their service (I recognize them several times a year)
29. Open up your house on Thanksgiving or another holiday to a few veterans (active-duty or prior-service) that don't have any family in the area. Make it a holiday none of you will forget.
30. Visit Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Veterans Wall, or any of the other War Memorials on your next trip to DC. (The Vietnam Wall and Future Generations)
31. Volunteer at a VA Medical Center
32. Help a deployed single-service member by taking care of their pet while they are gone; get involved with a pet foster care program.
33. Invite a few vets and friends over on Veterans Day and celebrate their service over beer or soda, a football game, movie or game of pool in the basement.
34. Participate in the 'Thank a Veteran at Work' program from the History Channel.
35. Did a veteran in your neighborhood just come back from a deployment? Send them a card of 'Thanks'.
36. Tell your Veterans friends and family about Veterans Services Websites that are available to them.
37. Talk to your children about the pride we have in the Military
38. Help a Veteran family-member or neighbor get to their medical appointments.
39. Visit your local USO. What do they need? A monetary donation or a gift of your time?
40. Fly your flag 365 days of the year. Don't forget to lower it when appropriate.
41. Teachers: Have your students write short articles of how veterans are honored around the world. And if you know any veterans locally, propose that your kids interview them about what it's like to serve in the U.S. military.
42. Participate in the 'Veterans History Project'
43. Are you a military-brat? Talk to your parents about the pride you have in their service
44. Hear the National Anthem playing? Stop what you are doing and think about the sacrifices of our US Military.
45. Wear an American flag on your clothing. It's a small way to say, "I am proud of my country."
46. Introduce your children to VA Kids, from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
47. Have a pot-luck, at church or a banquet hall, for a group of local veterans. Invite the community to participate.
48. Listen to them. Some just want to share a story from their service
49. Vote. Don't let them sacrifice for naught. Be a good citizen and do your part to protect the freedoms our service-people have fought and died for.
50. Dedicate a patriotic song in a veteran's honor on the radio.
51. Tell your children all about your Veteran-grandparents. What made them special and what they did as a Veteran. Pass on a legacy.
52. Do you see a Veteran with a service related ball cap on? Use it to strike up a conversation about their service.
53. Pass out small flags around your neighborhood in honor of Veterans Day.
54. Support the children of deployed National Guard and Reserve soldiers. Fund raise or contribute to 'Our Military Kids'
55. What can you do for our Homeless Veterans? Organizations like the Home Depot Foundation, Volunteers of America, and The Mission Continues are great groups that you can help with. (Here is an excellent example: Motown has a new Veterans Homeless Facility and Park)
56. Give them a big smile as you walk by, sometimes that is all that is needed.
57. If you see a veteran with an old flag on their pole leave them a new one, with a note of thanks for their service.
58. Visit a veteran's grave. Even if you simply stand there for a moment of quiet reflection, you're honoring their service--and you're rededicating yourself to the freedoms we enjoy as a citizen of this country.
59. Find out which businesses in your community truly support veterans and the troops; become their customer, and tell them you appreciate their support to veterans.
60. Do you know the mom or dad of a veteran? Thank them for raising one of America's Heroes.
61. Ask your local VFW, American Legion or local Veterans Group if you can make a donation, either by money or donation of your time. If you have a family member that serves in the armed forces you could make a donation in their honor.
62. In the market to hire? Seriously consider a Veteran. http://www.dol.gov/vets/
63. Meditate on these words: "O Lord God of hosts, stretch forth, we pray, your almighty army to strengthen and protect the Soldiers of our country. Support them in the day of battle, and in the time of rest and training keep them safe from all evil. Endue them with courage and loyalty; and grant that in all things they may serve without reproach; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen" - From the Book of Worship for United States Forces
64. Proudly display a "I support the troops" magnet on the bumper of your car
65. Order a shnazzy t-shirt or perhaps a tie that shows your thankfulness. Have one sent to a veteran in your family.
66. Read 101 Ways to Say Thank you to a Military Spouse. Thanking the Spouse is a Thank You to the Veteran.
67. During a family reunion recognize the veterans in your family. A special toast or a big family "Thank you!"
68. Find out how you can help with a Community Service Project through your local VFW.
69. Organize a group (boys scouts, girl scouts, classroom) to write letters to veterans. Bring the letters and cards to a local nursing home to be delivered to their vets.
70. Greet them on their special day with a smile and a thank you.
71. Support our troops this holiday season via 'Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes' program. Find out more here.
72. Read some of the veterans' stories at DAV Charitable Service Trust. This is just a small sample of the sacrifices our service-members have made for us throughout the generations.
73. Is it still warm where you live? Treat a veteran to a round of golf on Veterans Day or the weekend before or after.
74. Attend a local parade or ceremony on Veterans Day (mark calendar now)
75. Make a tax-deductible donation to 'Books For Soldiers'. They send books and other care-packages to our deployed service-members.
76. Help a veteran with projects around his or her house. Patching a leaky roof, moving heavy rocks or rearranging the living room furniture is easier for the 20-somethings than a 60-somethings.
77. Make a lunch date: Take your veteran-colleague out for lunch.
78. Learn more about resources available to our homeless veterans. Here is one great example: "It Was A Wet, Cold Day and the Homeless Veterans Came to the Stand Down"
79. Remember Veterans during other holidays, especially those without family. Send a Thanksgiving card, Christmas card or Valentines card, to either a Vet that you know or through a VA Hospital or VFW.
80. Learn to say Thank You in sign-language. The Gratitude Campaign.
82. Ask your company to display a flag with lights at night. Offter to help with raising and lowering the flag.
83. Offer to take a veterans dog for a walk. Invite them to come along with you if they can.
84. Know a veteran's hobby? Send them a subscription to a related magazine.
85. Offer to babysit for a veteran-military family. Let the husband and wife get out together on Veterans Day or over the weekend. Perhaps it will be a great opportunity for them to reconnect after a deployment. (Active Duty Families have you heard of SitterCity? The DoD offers a free membership for you.)
86. Contribute your time, talent or money to Fisher House™ Foundation, "comfort homes," built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. Eglin AFB has one in Fort Walton Beach, Fl. Look for one in your area. It's a place where families of wounded/hospitalized military members can stay while visiting.
87. Get involved and send a service-person a care package. Go to http://www.soldiersangels.org/ for a list of organizations with projects to support servicemen and servicewomen and their families.
88. Donate your airline mileage to the Hero Miles program.
89. Business Owners: What kind of Veterans Day special are you having for your Veterans? Is it from the heart?
90. If you meet a veteran on this Veteran's Day, or any day, just say thanks. They served you, and this nation, well.
91. Learn more about 'Honor Flight Network' and how you can help with this wonderful support for World War II Veterans. I have a close friend whose dad is a WW II Vet and participated in a trip to DC through Honor Flight. Karen tells me it was an /amazing/ and indescribable experience for her dad. Definitely an opportunity that I stand behind! But it can't continue without volunteers /like you/.
92. Visit Homes for Our Troops and learn if there are plans to build a home for in your area for a disabled Veteran. You can help with fundraising, skilled labor, or a contribution through the CFC.
93. Own a business? Hang a sign and invite all veterans in for something free. A cup of coffee, a flower, a massage. Something you can give from your inventory to show your gratitude.
95. Another related idea, learn the etiquette of being around an assistance-dog so that if you meet a disabled vet and his companion you know how to treat them both with respect
96. Have you visited Applebees Veterans Site? Stop over and leave a message of support for our troops there: http://veterans.applebees.com/veteransday/honor-a-veteran/
97. Participate in "school drives" or start your own school drive for our deployed-troops or veterans. If your child brings home a flier or announcement from the school or PTA requesting donations for the troops participate. Pick up a few things for your child to bring in. She'll feel good about participating and you will feel good for helping our deserving military-members.
98. What various military support organizations are in your own neighborhood? The VFW and the American Legion are two great examples.
99. Learn more about Angel Food Ministries and their Thanksgiving and Christmas drive to support military-families at home.
100. Combat-related stress and traumatic brain injury is real. Veterans of World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and so many other conflicts still have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and need our help. Educate yourself, support programs like the Home Base Program, and learn how you can help the veterans in your family and community.
101. To truly honor our veterans make the best of the opportunity the sacrifices of our fighting men and women have provided. Love your country with passion, and do what you can to make it a better place.
102. When travelling you will see many military members in uniform at airports, offer to buy them lunch. Either in the airport or on the plane. They are often times travelling with limited funds.
And a special thank you to our Veteran Realtors who are continuing to support our military.