5 Ways to Thank a Veteran

Guest Post by Lauren Oliver

Most people go about their daily lives never thinking about the comforts they have…we take them for granted. Military service members give it up to serve. They do not hesitate, they work hard, they protect, and they serve. They are serving our country, true, but they are in reality serving us. Because, do we not make up this country?

Next time you see a service member in uniform, please remember to thank them for their service. All of our military members need to know how much they are appreciated, how much they are loved, and how much they are respected.

Below I am including a list of 5 ways to thank a veteran. I follow my own preaching, and as much as I can, I try to make donations—even the send candy to the troops at my local Walgreen’s—and I always take the time to stand in silence and offer a prayer when I pass by the memorial erected in my neck of the woods when I go walking.

1.       Make a donation: Okay, so this is more for active duty military, and not just vets, but at Walgreen’s and some other retail stores they ask if you would like to donate $1 or buy a candy bar to support our troops. Do it! They really do ship the candy to the troops, giving them a taste of home, and that $1 goes towards food drops, medical supplies, and some primitive basics that every soldier may need when on tour. Operation Gratitude is one such organization that will send candy to active duty troops and veterans.

2.       Get involved on Veterans’ Day! Many places hold parades, carnivals, etc. for remembering the duty of our veterans. My mother’s city of residence holds a parade and a city block party with BBQ, fireworks, booths for donations and fun events, and of course cold beer! In her city, all purchases go toward donations to military service members and their families, and veterans. Check out local events held in honor of Veterans’ Day and get involved to say ‘Thank you’!

3.       Send miles: Most frequent flier miles can be transferred or donated. Do you have mass amounts of them? Donate them to the Hero Miles Program where they are donated throughout military members and their families for travel to and from VA hospitals.

4.       Volunteer: There are many organizations that accept volunteers to help out in their community and also benefit our veterans. Check out some great resources—such as uso.org—to find out what you can do to help out, get involved, and thank a veteran by donating your time and effort.

5.       Say THANK YOU!!! Just letting our military know of our appreciation is appreciated by them! Whenever you see a military service member in uniform, just say “Thank you”. Trust me, they will not bite off your head; they will be grateful that us civilians pay attention and value their lives and service. There are also many places and organizations that you can write a thank you letter to troops and veterans, anonymously. They will get to the right people.

There are so many more ways to thank our veterans, these being my own 5 ways to thank a Veteran. Be sure to check out what’s going on in your own community for Veteran’s Day and get involved. Make donations, help military families, and ultimately never forget who serves us and this country with their lives. Please add thank you’s to our Vets and troops in the comments section and feel free to add more ways to thank a veteran.

About the Author: Lauren is a stay at home mom currently working from home as a freelance writer. She is certified in Education with a background in education, writing, and tutoring to help students develop their educational skills. She comes from a military family and writes articles about education, military life, and personal development.


chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)
Publisher, Part-Time-Commander.com
Email: mrchuckholmes@gmail.com

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11 thoughts on “5 Ways to Thank a Veteran”

  1. I just love this post. We go through our day to day lives and take so much for granted. What if we lived in the Ukraine or Korea? We owe a lot to all of our service members.

    I fly from time to time and run into many service members. I love the appreciation they have, and the smile when I just say a simple thank you for what they do. Our soldiers and officers need to hear those thank yous. It doesn’t take much just to say thanks.

    With that, I have to offer a great big thanks to all of you. Thanks for having the ambition and drive to protect and defend my loved ones and myself. May you all be blessed!

  2. It is so important to thank our Veterans, especially these days, because a lot of their work and efforts go unnoticed. We were at the VA Hospital for my husband’s surgery and it was amazing to see how unappreciated they are as a whole. Before and after he came out of surgery every single employee was rude, hateful and just wanted him out of there (and my husband is a sweet, outgoing kind of guy). Plus, not to mention the tons and tons of Veterans who are living out on the streets due to homelessness. It amazes me how America goes about treating those who fight to set us free – shameful!

    But to comment on the post, I love the idea of donating your frequent flier miles. I had never heard of this before, but it is such a great idea! There are many Veterans, I’m sure, that can not afford a plane ticket or who fly a lot to see family or just to come home for the holidays. It’s great to know that an organization exists to provide this simple, yet well appreciated service to our Vets.

  3. It’s really important to let our Vets know we appreciate their service and understand their hardships. The vast majority of the population doesn’t serve and I think there should be more programs to let the general population understand exactly what’s these men and women are doing. There was also a cool program I heard about where people could donate gift packages to vets who were deployed overseas. The packages contained stuff DVDs, video games, and snacks. We take that stuff for granted when it’s so accessible here in the states. Simple things like that might make life a little easier for service members.

  4. Neil O'Donnell

    Sending a box of supplies overseas to a soldier is also a great way to say thank you. I usually include magazines, books, crossword puzzles, hand sanitizer, tooth brushes, a deck of cards, instant coffee and other small things that will travel well. Donating Phone Cards to deployed soldiers is another great way to give back. Local Veteran Posts can likely provide addresses as to where to send such care packages. I also include a thank you note in the care packages.

    1. Neil, the fact that you write and add a thank you note to the veteran care packages actually personalizes the package and makes it more meaningful. To thank a veteran is to love your country and the people who gave up time in their lives to serve it.

  5. I don’t normally thank veterans when I see them. I say this because, being a veteran myself, I always felt uncomfortable when someone would come up and thank me. I’m always flattered but I’m always uncomfortable with it. That’s just my personality though. I would always rather donate to veteran’s charities. I think that’s the best way to show your support for our veterans and those who served this country.

    However I’m always happy to receive a free meal on Veteran’s Day!!!

    1. Everyone is different. Some people like to be thanked and others don’t. Personally, I always thank a veteran when I see one in public. Even if it’s akward or weird I do it anyway.

  6. I always make it a point to thank those who are putting their lives on the line to serve our country. Some of my friends and family members have served, so I also understand how difficult it can be when your loved one is overseas. Sometimes you just want to squeeze them and never let go when they come back! Keep in mind that these soliders and not just protecting us back at home, they are also protecting one another.

  7. My father was a veteran of Vietnam. I always make sure to thank him profusely on Veteran’s Day and make sure that I am aware of the unbelievable sacrifice he made for not only his country, but for me as well. I also donate whenever possible. It’s the least I can do ;)

    1. Hey, Kevin–
      I think it’s awesome that you do that for not only your dad, but other vets as well. My dad and my husband’s dad were both in the USAF during Vietnam, my father luckily was never deployed over there, but my father-in-law was. Whenever we decide not to go to a parade on Vets’ Day we always throw a huge BBQ to honor them both. I like hearing that others are aware of the sacrifices of our Veterans and that they also have ways of thanking them.

    2. Good for you, Kevin. If every living American would take just a few moments and thank ONE veteran, I think we could thank every living veteran out there in no time at all. We should all do our part to make sure we thank our veterans. It’s not that difficult to do.


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