Between Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, November is a month heavily dedicated to gratitude. While many who are not directly connected to a military member past or present might not feel such an intense pull of gratitude to our nation’s service members, we should all take the time to appreciate the sacrifices these men and women made for us and our country. Throughout the holiday season, and all year, here are a few ideas of ways to show gratitude to service members and their families.
Bring a Meal
Whether it’s during a particularly long phase of training where you know a service member won’t have time to cook a good meal for him or herself, or for a military family waiting out a long deployment, a meal is a great way to show someone that you care.
Write a Letter
Handwritten notes are a quick and easy way to show your appreciation. There are many organizations that distribute letters to soldiers overseas, so you can do this even if you don’t know anyone in the military.
Offer to Babysit
If you know the family of a deployed soldier or of someone who recently returned from deployment, a great way to thank them is to offer to babysit. Treating them to a night out or even just a day of shopping might be just what they need to recharge.
Send a Care Package
There are a number of organizations that collect items for service members and veterans and most service members are able to receive packages at their duty stations or deployed locations, so, whether you know a soldier or not, sending a care package to brighten their day is still a viable option.
Volunteering your time on base, at a VA hospital, USO, or with the countless other organizations that help veterans is a great way to give back. A quick search of your local area is likely to turn up several military-focused places to volunteer.
Fly a Flag
Perhaps the simplest way to offer support and show gratitude for our nation’s heroes is to fly a flag. If you choose to go this route, be sure to hang your flag correctly and follow proper etiquette techniques.
Talk to Your Kids and Family About Soldiers
While it may seem like a no-brainer to some, children of non-military families might not understand that military service is still needed and very much happens today. Talking to your children about the daily sacrifices of soldiers and their families will help bring awareness and make children curious and appreciative of military service.