People are always wondering what they can do to help local veterans; in reality, there are more opportunities available than you may think.
Participate in a local event.
In many parts of the country, you’ll find places that host annual walks, runs, parades, or benefits for veterans. Check your local paper, community bulletin board, or township website to find upcoming events and see how you can get involved.
Donate to the cause.
There are many wonderful organizations that offer various ways to show support and appreciation for our service members, such as Operation Gratitude. A financial donation is always helpful to such causes; however, if you have more time than money to spare, volunteering at these organizations is equally welcome. You can also request permission to place a donation jar in your office’s lunchroom in order to get others involved.
Fly a flag.
Perhaps the most common way to show support for veterans is to proudly display Old Glory on your house. Just make sure you’re observing the proper rules for display; the last thing you would want to do is offend instead of honor. To make sure you’re flying your US flag correctly, ask a neighbor who is a veteran about it, or visit a website such as military.com to read the US Flag Code.
Write to them.
If you know a veteran, send a simple postcard or e-card that recognizes that’s person’s sacrifice. An even better idea is to write a letter that personally thanks a veteran. Not sure where to begin? Use these 8 terrific tips for writing to a serviceperson as a great way to get started. If you don’t know a veteran, you can always mail one to the closest military installation or send it through Operation Gratitude.
Visit a VA hospital.
Find out what the policies are at your nearest VA hospital for interacting with patients, and spend a few hours or even the entire day with a veteran. You may be humbled by what you learn when you have conversations with a veteran, and you’ll gain an even greater appreciation for the sacrifices veterans make for our country. You can also volunteer at a VA hospital, so even if you don’t have the opportunity to interact directly with a veteran, you know that you’re still giving back.
If you don’t know a veteran, ask around to see if anyone else does; odds are that you will have one in your neighborhood, even if you don’t realize it. If you are able to find a veteran in your neighborhood, get to know him or her better. Some questions to get started can include: What did you do in the military? How long did you serve? Why did you choose to go into the service branch you did? Once you get to know the veteran better, you’ll be even more proud of your neighborhood—and your country.