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How to thank a veteran on Veterans Day

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Written by Jessica Render

11 ways to thank a veteran this Veterans Day

This Veterans Day, honor the veterans you know in these impactful ways.

  1. Fly the American flag outside your home: Show support in your neighborhood by hanging the American flag on your porch or in your front yard. Be sure to follow flag etiquette.
  2. Attend a Veterans Day parade: Check your community calendar to see what your city is planning. Most cities have an event or parade to honor veterans. Consider attending to show your appreciation. 
  3. Send a care package or letter to a military service member: Support our active servicemen and women by sending a care package or writing a letter. Organizations like Operation Homefront and Soldiers’ Angels can help your efforts.
  4. Personally thank a veteran for their service: If you have a veteran in your life, make a special point to call or visit them. If you see a veteran or service member in uniform in public, thank them for their service and shake their hand.
  5. Volunteer or visit a VA hospital: Volunteering your time with a veteran organization, charity or by visiting a VA hospital is a powerful way to support and connect with the veterans in your community.
  6. Donate to veteran organizations: Organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Homefront and Fisher House Foundation are always in need of donations to help assist veterans.
  7. Donate your miles: If you can’t afford to make a monetary donation, there are other ways to give. Hero Miles is a program that allows you to donate frequent flyer miles to military families, helping them visit injured or ill service members in the hospital without creating a financial burden.
  8. Listen: Thanking a veteran for their service is a simple and kind thing to do, but engaging veterans in conversation and listening to what they have to say can be much more significant to them.
  9. Wear a red poppy: On Veterans Day and Memorial Day, millions of red crepe paper poppies, all handmade by veterans as part of a therapeutic rehabilitation program, are created to honor fallen soldiers. You can wear a red poppy on Veterans Day to show your support.
  10. Support a veteran-owned business: Another great way to show support is to seek out veteran-owned businesses or those that go out of their way to employ vets. Some of the largest companies in the world are veteran-owned, including Walmart, FedEx, Nike and Sports Clips. You can find more businesses by visiting the veteran-owned business directory from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  11. Don’t wait until next Veterans Day to do it again: It’s nice to have a special day set aside for veterans, but don't forget about veterans for the rest of the year. Visiting veteran-owned businesses, engaging with vets and donating your money or time are wonderful ways to stay connected with veterans in your community.
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