May 7, 2014
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What can we say when we think of our senior veterans? Whether one thinks about WWII, Korea, Vietnam, or more current conflicts, a flood of memories comes along with heroic and tragic stories. If you know these brave servicemen and servicewomen who have walked through these or any other wars in their lifetimes, you might be thinking how to show them appreciation. There are many opportunities to celebrate the contributions of our veterans in May, June, and July including:
Military Appreciation Month (May)
V-E Day (5/8)
Military Spouse Appreciation Day (5/9)
Armed Forces Day (5/17)
Maritime Day (5/22)
Memorial Day (5/26)
D-Day Invasion Anniversary (6/6)
Flag Day (6/14)
U.S. Army Birthday (6/14)
Independence Day (7/4)
As you prepare for the upcoming Memorial Day and the honoring of your resident vets, we thought it might be good to gather some ideas to help you with showing them your appreciation for their sacrifices.
First, you can be sure that having a main flag to look at would mean a great deal of respect. For flag options, click here!
Second, if your vets have stories to tell, you can have a designated time where they can share their war stories if they would like to. To adapt this, if a veteran’s story hasn’t been recorded before, your staff or volunteers could tape them telling their stories.
Also, if the vets you know have service photographs or any memorabilia relating to their service, with their permission you can have the photos framed or preserved in a special way. If there are items like dog tags or helmets, you could gather collector’s cases or display cases for them (depending on the willingness for the veteran to want things displayed). When I discovered with my mom that my uncle’s Purple Heart was among his belongings and he never made any mention of it from his service in Vietnam, she said that her brother was a modest man and some veterans didn’t want their rewards or memorabilia displayed, but just preserved. Kept well.
If there isn’t a tangible “gift” that they want, you can also ask them if a donation could be made to a local VFW, veteran’s hospital, or an organization of their choice.
A tribute can also be made to our younger generation of veterans today – the brave young men and women who have served in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Iraq, and more, home and abroad. You can take into account all the factors – age, circumstance, their current state, for a great season of remembering veterans’ sacrifices all year round.