As we prepare to celebrate Veterans' Day on Nov. 11, the sacrifices our soldiers, veterans, and their families make will surely be on our minds.
This holiday is a time to reflect on the little things we can do to show our appreciation for what it means to have served. Fortunately, there are many ways to honor a veteran that can be done quickly and on a budget.
1. Say thank you. As simple as that sounds, it's probably the most profound. Saying thank you to a service member in and out of uniform is always a noble thing to do. It lets them know that you care and appreciate what it is they have provided you: your continued security and freedom.
2. Volunteer for a charity that helps veterans. There are dozens of charities that directly help soldiers; whether it is the Armed Services YMCA or the Fisher House Foundation, take time to donate your resources to these organizations. Check CharityWatch.org to make sure the charities you are working with are legit and use the funds appropriately.
3. Pick up the tab. It doesn't have to break your wallet, but every now and again if you see a veteran or active soldier in line at Starbucks or a local diner, pick up their tab. Having something nice happen to you when you least expect it is always a nice surprise. This tiny gesture can make a soldier's day and probably yours too.
4. Let a veteran know about free meal opportunities. Many restaurants will offer free food to veterans during the week of Nov. 11. See a list here.
5. Run an errand. If you know a veteran personally who needs assistance with personal tasks, see if you can help them by picking up their dry cleaning or getting their groceries. Offering to assist them with their errands is a small job for you but can mean a lot to them.
6. Write a letter to express your gratitude. Get your family involved too. Tell your kids the importance of these individuals and have them write letters to veterans and soldiers telling them what their freedom means to them and how it couldn't be possible without the service these people give.
There are a lot more budget friendly ways to honor a veteran and I encourage everyone to find a couple and act on them in the upcoming weeks and year. Sacrificing your time and possibly your life is something that shouldn't go unnoticed, and I know we can all do something to make sure it doesn't!
Danielle Murrell is the Director of Marketing at US Patriot, a woman-owned, veteran-owned military and law enforcement supplier based in Columbia, S.C.. You can visit them online or at one of their many locations (Ft. Jackson SC, Ft. Bragg NC, Ft. Stewart GA, Ft. Sill OK, Ft. Riley KS, MacDill AFB FL, and coming soon Ft. Gordon GA).
For further reading on ClarkHoward.com:
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- Military warned about new slew of scams
- A guide to the best and worst military charities