by Megan Hawker, MA, IMF #65325
ACI Clinical Specialist
Captain, Medical Service Corps, US Army Reserves
“Actions speak louder than words, but not nearly as often.” ~Mark Twain
When it comes to expressing support and gratitude to veterans and service members, actions really do speak louder than words. After exploring what not to say to a veteran, let’s delve into some of the best ways to interact with service members.
There are many fantastic organizations that offer support to veterans and family members. Many are in need of your time, resources or donations. A partial list can be found here or search your local 211.org for additional resources.
Take the time to learn
What is the difference between a Marine and a Soldier? What does it mean to be a military family? Why is Veteran’s Day celebrated on November 11th? Taking the time to learn about military culture and history is a great way to express gratitude and narrow the gap between civilian and military worlds.
It’s never too late
For the Vietnam generation veterans, many service members returned to a less than favorable homecoming. Thankfully, our nation has grown to support the warrior although they may oppose the war. Unfortunately many veterans live wearing the mental and physical scars of their service. It may be more comfortable to show appreciation to the young individuals in uniform, but there are many retirement homes, homeless shelters and veterans hospitals filled with individuals that would always appreciate the support.
Be an informed voter
Decisions of using military actions are made by politicians, policy makers, and ultimately you, the American voter. Our voting privilege is bought and paid for through the selfless service of our armed forces members. Demonstrate appreciation of this privilege and investment in the political process by becoming an informed voter and exercising the right to vote.
Why isn’t “simply say thank you” on the list? Follow up next month to find out!