Veterans Day is a day to honor all of our American veterans and to pay tribute to all those who have chosen to serve our country. Our veterans walk among us but not always in uniform. Some are retired from service and some are only in uniform part-time as National Guard/Reserve members. The rest of the time they are our police officers, firefighters, teachers, and friends. Honoring these men and women is important every day of the year but certainly, on this day, set aside time to do so. Here are some ways you can honor our military:
- Proudly display the American Flag
- Contact a local VA hospital and ask when might be a good time to visit. Visiting a veteran is a great way to bring a bit of cheer to their day and you just might hear some amazing stories!
- Read a book about veterans with your children. A few to consider:
- H is for HERO
- Hero Mom
- Hero Dad
- Veterans: Heroes in our Neighborhood
- Consider volunteering with a program that serves veterans and/or their families like JF&CS Shoulder to Shoulder or the USO
- Attend a local ceremony or parade with your family
- Wear a yellow ribbon as a sign of remembrance
- If you know of a family who has a deployed service member, ask how you might be helpful to them. The absence of a parent for an extended period of time can be challenging for families.
- Anonymously pick up the tab for a service member you see while traveling. This has been done for me more than once. I was touched and humbled by the simple kindness.
- Express your gratitude year-round with a humble “thank you” to a veteran you know or a service member in uniform with whom you might cross paths.
While this day is all about honoring our military, also remember their families who support them as they train, deploy, and serve our country. These families and, most especially their children, endure absences, consistent changes, and often the unknown and are deserving of our honor as well.
Stacie Fredriksson is the Program Manager for JF&CS Shoulder to Shoulder, serving military families in the Greater Boston. She has an extensive military background, serving 14 years in the Air Force on active duty before transferring to the Air Force Reserves where she has served the last eight years. Having experienced the rewards and challenges of military life, she has a passion for serving military families. Stacie is married to Brian and together they have two amazing children and one silly dog who keep them both busy and focused on the importance of living each day to the fullest.