10 Ways to Thank a Veteran

With about 23 million veterans living in our country, find one to thank!

Posted in , Nov 11, 2014

10 ways to thank a veteran. Photo by Videodet for Thinkstock.

Earlier this year, I was weaving my way through the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport in search of my gate, but what I found that day was so much more.

Patriotism was alive and well and being showcased right there in the airport.

Trying to hurry through the mass of travelers, I ran smack dab into a small crowd of people forming a line and leading up to something, but I couldn’t see what.

Thank a veteran. Photo by Videodet for Thinkstock.Probably another security checkpoint, I thought.

I stepped to the side to see what was at the front of the line, and that’s when I saw an older gentleman wearing a “U.S. Army Veteran” ball cap, sitting in his wheelchair, tears streaming down his face.

The line was for him!

One by one, each person shook his hand and said, “Thank you for your service to our country.” 

It was a glorious spontaneous outpouring of gratitude, and I was so thankful I’d stumbled upon it.

I’m sure that precious Veteran will never forget that day at DFW Airport, and neither will I.

It was a great reminder that our freedom isn’t free, and it was a wonderful opportunity to say thank you to someone who so selflessly served our country and risked his life for the freedoms we enjoy today–a true patriot, a man to be honored, and an everyday hero.

With an estimated 23 million veterans in the United States, I’m sure there are some heroes living in your community, too, so why not take time to show your gratitude for their service to our country?

With November 11 being Veterans Day, there’s no better time to honor our veterans, as well as the men and women in uniform who are still actively serving our country.

Here are 10 ways you can show your appreciation to our veterans and our active men and women in uniform:

1.    If you see a veteran or a man or woman in uniform in a public place, walk over and simply say, “Thank you for your service to our country.”

2.    Donate to the USO

3.    If you see a veteran or a man or woman in uniform at a restaurant where you’re dining, secretly pay for that hero’s meal and ask the server to say, “Your check has been paid for. Thank you for your service to our country.”

4.    Proudly fly your American flag on November 11.

5.    Visit your local nursing homes and ask permission to visit with the veterans living there, listening to their stories and expressing your gratitude.

6.    Attend a Veterans Day parade.

7.    Take a care package or a meal to a veteran who might be disabled or simply unable to get out much. (Many churches have lists of these folks and would be grateful for your help.)

8.    Get involved with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization, which offers free transportation to men and women who are unable to travel to VA medical hospitals on their own, and volunteer your vehicle and your time. What an honor to give a veteran a ride!

9.    Write a thank you letter to a veteran or a wounded warrior. For more information on what you should say and where to send your letter, visit Operation Gratitude.

10.  Pray: Lift up our past and present military men and women, asking God to bless them and keep them safe.  Let’s all do that together: 

Father, we pray right now for our veterans. We ask that you bless them, Lord, and fill them up with your love, peace and joy. Help them to know, Lord, that we haven’t forgotten about them. And, we pray also for our men and women in active service. Please keep them safe, Lord.

We pray a hedge of protection around them. And, we also pray that you bless them and their families. Father, help us never to take our freedom for granted and help us to always honor those who have given so much for our country. In the Name of Your Precious Son Jesus, Amen.

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