I hate to admit it, but for years I didn’t give much thought to Veterans Day.
I didn’t have any close connections to the military and although I have always been grateful for the sacrifices military men and women and their families make, it just felt like another Monday holiday; worthy of acknowledgement, but distant from my everyday experience.
Then my sister married an active duty Army officer.
And a few years later my other sister married an Army veteran.
All of a sudden, the military was my family. These men were my people. The people I rallied around, loved dearly, prayed for often, and wanted to honor more than anything. I witnessed their sacrifice and ached over the physical and emotional wounds they carried. I want them to feel my immense gratitude everyday, but especially on each November 11th when our country celebrates Veterans Day.
As you review your November calendar and begin preparations for Thanksgiving, please don’t forget what comes first in this month of thanks: Veterans Day.
To jumpstart your preparation for this important November holiday, remember"
Who Veterans Day Honors
This day is the all-encompassing one (unlike Memorial Day, which is specifically for those who have died while serving). November 11th is for all men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
To Thank a Veteran
With social media connections so prevalent, it doesn’t take much work to find a veteran within your circle. Be sure to offer them a personal thanks on their wall, via text, or, dare I say, a phone call!
That a Little Goes a Long Way
In addition to a verbal thanks, you could buy a veteran a coffee, or a meal. Or deliver cookies to their front door! Maybe you can put in a good word at your workplace for a veteran friend who is looking for a job.
To Walk in Their Shoes
Nothing helps you walk in someone's shoes more than an up close experience, and with that experience brings appreciation. Seattle's Museum of Flight is jam-packed with artifacts and history commemorating our brave soldiers - pop in for a visit this month and you’ll see what I mean! Be sure to tell the veterans and current military you know that on November 11th they receive free admission to the museum.
To Show Up
Your presence is important. Attend a Veterans Day parade or event local to you. It’s ok to pause and appreciate their lifetime of sacrifice for an hour or two each year. Locally - Auburn, Lynnwood, Mill Creek, and the University of Washington all have celebrations planned.
To Get Involved with Organizations that Offer Veterans Support
Operation Gratitude is a great one to begin with, but there are so many choose from! Find one that suites you and dive in. Our veterans deserve our love, honor, and respect every day of the year! They have served us in many ways, now, let’s serve them.