Every year since 1999, National Military Appreciation Month has been celebrated in May. But even though the official celebration lasts only one month, it doesn’t mean we can’t continue to publicly demonstrate, year-round, our appreciation of the sacrifice and dedication that our military service members make to protect our nation. From saying a simple thank you to a service member to hiring a veteran for their superb leadership skills, here are a few ways to support the military and veterans.
- Visit an older or wounded veteran. Check out VA Voluntary Service to learn more about official volunteer programs.
- Display the American flag on your home or business
- Engage media to highlight military and veteran events
- Invite a service member to participate in a family holiday meal or celebration
- Send a care package to a solider through USO Cares. The USO is a nonprofit, nonpolitical organization that provides a real way for people to say thank you.
- Encourage elected officials to recognize military and veterans, and to promote activities within the community
- Salute fellow veterans with the proper salute
- Give military discounts to all who serve and have served–from travel and professional services to recreation and electronics. Check out Military.com for a list of companies that provide discounts to service members.
- Say thank you. When you see a person in military uniform, shake their hand and acknowledge them for their service.
- Encourage schools to include a military history lesson in their curriculum
- Hire a veteran. Several companies such as Starbucks and Amazon have added special talent programs to attract military servicemen and women and their spouses. Veterans are touted for their mission-driven and leadership skills.
- Donate to Operation Write Home. Operation Write Home supports the nation’s armed forces by sending blank, handmade greeting cards to soldiers for them to use to write home.
Do you have any ideas to help show support for the military and veterans? Leave a comment below.