20 Ways Civilians Can Give Back to Veterans
October 28, 2011
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By Laura Reed Goodson
1% of Americans serve in our military. Don’t just go to the mall this Veterans’
Day. Please be part of the 99% of Americans who actively give something back.
Twenty Ways for Civilians to Support & Thank Veterans & Military Families
(Listed in order of least to most involved ways to participate)
1 Put out an American flag on 11/11/11.
2 Go to ( www.Americasupportsyou.org ) to see lists of organizations who support vets
3 Help wounded warriors and put the veterans back in Veterans’ Day through the Wounded Warrior Believe In Heroes” campaign ( www.wounderwarriorproject.org ).
4 Say “thank you for your service” to people you know are veterans or soldiers.
5 Say “tha nk you” to military family members for their service as well.
6 If you’re not sure if someone is a vet, risk asking them: “Are you a veteran, ma’am/sir?” and then thanking them if they say yes. Keep in mind that some vets do not want to make a big deal about their service, to be called a “hero” or to talk at length to someone they don’t know.
7 Use social media such as Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter to express your thanks.
8 Use social media to ask vets in your life what they need.
9 Visit a veterans’ cemetery, Arlington National Cemetery, or a Veterans’ Memorial site.
10 Visit or donate to a veterans’ museum. A wide array of museums are devoted to different populations (Special Ops/Women/Vietnam). Use a search engine to find them.
11 If you’re near DC on 11/11/11, attend the “Women Veterans Rock!” Rally at the ARC Performing Arts Theater, 1901 Mississippi Ave, @ noon (www.womenvetsrock.org ).
12 If you’re a season ticket holder/sports fan, donate tickets to local recruiting offices to be distributed between vets & active soldiers (to find them, pick a search engine & enter your city name, one of the Armed forces branches (ex: Army), & “recruiting office”).
13 If you love music/play music, support what other musicians are doing for our troops by joining or donating to the USO ( www.uso.org ). Also check out ( www.ltdanband.com ), (www.cammomusic.org ), and ( www.4troopsmusic.com ) and consider becoming an active supporter of bringing hope and support into the lives of soldiers through music.
14 If you’re an artist, support the Graffiti of War Project ( www.graffitiofwar.com ) and the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago ( www.nvvam.org ).
15 If you’re a writer or want to support veterans who are sharing their stories online, read some military blogs ( www.milblogging.com ) and some poetry by vets (www.iwvpa.net ).
16 Follow and/or “Like” the Veterans Writing Project on Facebook & give them money.
17 Help veterans have their stories and service permanently honored and recorded in the Library of Congress through the Veterans History Project ( www.loc.gov/vets ).
18 Donate blood for injured troops ( http://www.militaryblood.dod.mil/default.aspx ) and support disabled vets ( www.qolfoundation.org ), ( www.independencefund.org ) & (www.ambucs.org ).
19 To help disabled vets near Fort Bragg, NC, email James Howard @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
20 Help vets find a job – add job openings & opportunities at: ( www.hirepatriots.com ), ( www.militarycivilian.com ), ( www.milicruit.com ), or ( www.fedshirevets.com ).
Please pass these suggestions along and consider supporting these projects, organizations, & veterans after Veterans’ day has ended. Thank you.
Compiled by L.R. Goodson, Words for Warriors (email@example.com)
*Many thanks to all of the veterans & advocates who responded with suggestions.
Veterans Advocate Laura Reed Goodson compiled this guide and I thought it was fitting to pass it along with Veterans Day right around the corner. Pick one or pick them all they are all great ideas for expressing your thanks to our nations veterans.
Sean P Eagan
Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans