Veterans are people who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the citizens of the United States. Some of them come back with physical injuries or mental conditions that will change them forever. Home may not be the same as when they were deployed or maybe they are having a hard time finding work. Small things can make the difference between a depressed veteran and someone who adjusting well to the changes in their lives. Here are six ways to make a difference and help the people who risked their lives for you.
1. Say thank you
Saying thank you may seem like a small gesture, but it is the appreciation and the respect behind the gesture that can make a difference. Write a hand written letter to a veteran and send a care package of items that you think could be useful to them and their families.
2. Help build or remodel a home for severely injured vets
An injured veteran who has become disabled may not have the luxury of going back to the home they left. Their home may need to be modified to accommodate things such as a wheelchair. Living independently could depend on the kindness of others to lend a hand making their living space more accessible.
3. Donate frequent flier miles
If a service member is injured, their family is often far away. Donating your frequent flier miles to the family members of veterans who are receiving care in a hospital can offer some relief. It will allow those closest to the injured vet a chance to be with them during the stressful recovery period.
4. Clean out your closets and contribute
Most of us have too many clothes in our closet. Go through your closets and drawers looking for items that are in good condition that you do not need or want. Donate your extra coats to keep veterans warm in the winter. If you do not have any clothing to donate, a monetary contribution can also go towards clothing for those in need.
5. Replace a veteran's old flag with a new one
If you see that a veteran in your community has an old, worn out American flag, buy a new one for them. Ask them if you can attach it to their flag pole for them or leave it anonymously with a thank you note for their service.
6. Get them some local recognition
Talk to your local officials and arrange for the veterans of your community to be the front lines of a parade that is being held on Veteran’s Day. During community gatherings, make an effort to recognize the local hero’s and thank them for everything they have done.
These ideas are a great place to start thanking veterans, but there are a lot more ways to offer help to returning veterans, whether they are injured or not. Remember, these people were willing to sacrifice their lives for us. The least we can do is make an effort to make their lives more comfortable. Be creative and discover different ways to make a difference in a veteran’s life.