Don't get me wrong - I think it's absolutely fantastic that so many businesses offer freebies to Veteran's on Veteran's Day. This year since Veteran's Day falls on a Sunday, many businesses are offering freebies both on Sunday (November 11) and on Monday when the nation will "officially" observe the holiday.
There are lots of great resources available to find the free deals for Veteran's. Veteran's Advantage, and Military Benefits are two websites that have great lists and resources for Veteran's beyond November 11. Another one I found, The Spruce has a great list, but also a wide variety of ideas for celebrations, repair, gardening, cleaning and decor. I had to pull myself away from it to finish writing this, but I'll be be back to that website. Great ideas! You will want to check it out!
But, if you're not a Veteran yourself, what can or should you do to show your support of Veterans, and more specifically the Veteran's you know personally?
Check your local listings for events. One place to start is your state's Department of Veteran's Affairs. Type in: (your state) Department of Veteran's Affairs Veteran's Day Events Calendar. Here's Oregon's link.
If there's a parade near you - go to it! Cheer, wave a flag or your hand at those walking in the parade. Afterwards take the time to meet some of the men and women walking in the parade. Ask about their experiences. Listen to a story or two.
Consider hosting a dinner or potluck and inviting as many Veteran's as you know. It doesn't have to be fancy. The simple act of inviting and hosting is huge! Creating a space where they feel welcome and safe to talk about where they are at is more valuable than the actual food served.
If you don't feel comfortable having people over or that just isn't feasible, then organize meeting at a restaurant. It doesn't have to be a large gathering. Make it a number you are comfortable with.
Include in your gathering the giving of a small gift or greeting card. Depending on your location make it something local and affordable for you. I'm a big fan of perishable gifts (food, drink, candy, bath/body products . . .) Attach the small gift to a 2MyHero greeting card with a personal message of thanks from you.
2MyHero has a great selection of Veteran's Day cards that you can either send or hand deliver to the Veteran's in your sphere. I either hand deliver or mail cards to all the Veteran's in my sphere. One year I had special cupcakes made for them and attached a card to the box with the cupcake in it.
Reach into their world and make an effort to listen and understand what they experienced while in the service. Don't let fear keep you from cultivating relationship. You will undoubtedly not fully understand all they've been through, but don't let that stop you from making an effort to step closer. Gap the distance!
For younger Veteran's, you might want to give Say What You Mean - Afghanistan. These veteran's most likely have endured some living hell if they were once or more than once deployed to Afghanistan. If you know specifics about their time of service that you can thank them for - DO IT! You can never express sincere thankfulness to someone too much.
Veteran's in their 30's and 40's likely served in or during the Iraqi Freedom campaign. There's a Say What You Mean for Iraq too.
Next step up in terms of campaign would be those in their early 50's. These guys served during Desert Storm. They have their own stories of experiences that are unique to that conflict.
We'll be doing a blog later this week featuring the cards specifically for Vietnam Veteran's. This was a big war that brought home a lot of broken individuals who need our respect, understanding and support. The connection is way more important than the actual card, but cards do give a tangible item that can be very powerful.
Shop on Amazon now until Veteran's Day and will get 15% off all individual cards when you purchase at least 4 cards. Shipping is free. Any combination of cards qualifies for the offer. It's a win all the way around - for you and for the Veteran's who will receive the cards!
Sign up for our newsletter and get a discount code for 20% off your orders on our website. You'll get up to date information about new products and special deals. Let 2MyHero help you stay connected with the ones you love and know serving in any branch of the Armed Forces.
Comment below about your military loved one and how you have honored them in the past on Veteran's Day. Do you have traditions for this day? Please share them!
If you give a 2MyHero card to a Veteran, let us know how it made them feel and how it helped you stay connected with them. Of course be mindful of OPSEC, and don't give any specifics or details that would be potentially harmful to put out on the web.
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