8 Ways to Say 'Thank You' on Veterans Day

8 Ways to Express Appreciation on Veterans Day
Rene Ramos, veteran and retired U. S. Navy senior chief petty officer, holds a Prisoners of War and Missing in Action flag during a five-kilometer run commemorating POW/MIA Recognition Day, Sept. 18, 2021, at the Heritage Park on JBSA-Randolph, Texas. (Senior Airman Tyler McQuiston/U.S. Air Force photo)

Veterans Day is an important day for showing appreciation to members of our military, past and present.

If you're looking for an appropriate way to honor a veteran in your life, or would like to contribute in a way that's meaningful for veterans everywhere, here's a list of suggestions to start you off.

1. Show Up

Girl scouts at Veterans Day parade

Attend a Veterans Day event in your area -- not just a picnic with friends but an honest-to-goodness parade or service for veterans. Roy Rogers said, "We can't all be heroes; someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by." Veterans Day is a great opportunity to do just that.

2. Donate

Veteran at DAV event

There are a plethora of wonderful organizations that offer all manner of support, services and appreciation for our service members. To get a few ideas for donations, you can check out this page.

3. Fly a Flag - Correctly

raising the US flag

Veterans Day is a great opportunity to fly the flag. Just make sure you're observing the proper rules for display. Not sure exactly what those are? Check out Military.com's guide to the flag.

4. Ask Someone About Their Service

Retired Army Sergeant visits

It seems like we all know someone who has served, and Veterans Day is a great time to ask them about their service. Some questions to get started are: What did you do in the military? How long did you serve? What was your favorite moment in all your time in the service? Did anyone else in your family serve? Why did you go into the service branch you did? Do not ask whether they've killed anyone, and should your veteran be a combat vet who is either unwilling to share or plainly states what they went through, be supportive without being intrusive. Sometimes you don't have to say anything; just listen and give them your full attention.

5. Write

child writing card for service member

If you know a veteran, write a simple postcard or e-card that recognizes them on Veterans Day. If you don't know a veteran, look up the closest military installation and send one there. Small acts of recognizing someone's service, even anonymously, are appreciated.

6. Don't Confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day

Veterans Day Parade in New York City

Veterans Day is a time to thank those who are serving or have served and are still with us. Memorial Day is to reflect and remember those who lost their lives in service to their country. Confusing the two or combining the two diminishes the importance of both.

7. Visit a VA Hospital

volunteer at VA hospital

Find out what the policies are at your nearest VA hospital for interacting with patients or volunteering, and spend the day with a veteran. Many VA facilities will have events on Veterans Day or a special lunch you can help prepare. Even if you never interact with a veteran, helping at a facility is a way to give back.

8. Get Outdoors with a Veteran

veteran fishing at Lassen Park

Invite a veteran or a military family to explore a national park; admission is free for all visitors on Veterans Day. Being outside helps improve physical and mental health, boosts emotional well-being and is a great way to celebrate the day with a veteran.

Veterans Day Features on Military.com

Veterans Day Discounts and Freebies

Celebrity Veteran Profiles

Profiles in Courage: 5 Medal of Honor Recipients

Stay On Top of Your Veteran Benefits

Military benefits are always changing -- keep up with everything from pay to health care by signing up for a free Military.com membership, which will send all the latest benefits straight to your inbox, as well as give you access to up-to-date pay charts and more.

Show Full Article
Veterans Day Topics