Honor and recognition for our veterans don’t need to come with a price tag. We should honor them from the heart, not the wallet. There are numerous heartfelt and cost-free ways to show your appreciation and gratitude for the brave men and women who have served our nation. Honoring veterans is a year-round duty and an opportunity to show respect every day. Children should also be involved in these activities which will instill values of respect, empathy, and appreciation in their hearts. Let’s show our veterans that we all hold them in the highest regard, not through grand gestures, but through sincere and meaningful acts of care. Here are 11 FREE ways to honor veterans this year in simple, yet sincere ways!
Flag Display Volunteering
Join local organizations or community groups in putting up flags to honor the day and the veterans. This simple act of respect and patriotism can be done with the whole family to begin awareness at an early age.
Care Package Contributions
Collect and donate essential items for care packages that will be sent to deployed troops or to surprise a veteran at home. Include your children in the process, allowing them to choose items and write encouraging notes. It's a wonderful way to share your appreciation while boosting morale.
Hero Miles Donation
Consider donating your frequent flyer miles to organizations like Hero Miles. These miles help connect wounded, injured, and ill service members with their families, making a difference when it matters the most.
Service in Your Community
Volunteer with work that supports veterans within your local community. This might include helping elderly veterans with yard work, home repairs or simply providing companionship. Always remember how older generations love to see the smile of a child, so bring yours along!
We all need to be heard, especially if we have brave memories to share. Encourage veterans to share their stories with your family. Whether it's a relative or a member of your community, their tales can be an educational and heartwarming experience for everyone.
Organize Thank You Parades
Turn your neighborhood into a parade route and create a homemade “thank you parade” for veterans. Marching with your children, friends, and neighbors along with creating signs of gratitude, can be both fun and heartfelt. Be sure to invite high school and elementary band members for a lively boost in the celebration!
Help with Honor Flights
Volunteer in or organize events to support Honor Flights, which honors our veterans by bringing them to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials built to commemorate their service and sacrifice at no cost to them. Get involved with fundraisers for donations or in welcoming them upon their return home at the airport or participating in creating a homecoming celebration.
Letters of Appreciation
Write personal letters of appreciation and thanks to veterans. Your children can create their own heartfelt messages and drawings to make these letters even more special. The need is always there, but be sure to write or send cards on holidays when the loneliest feelings surface if a veteran is alone.
Service Dogs for Veterans
Support organizations that provide service dogs to veterans. These dogs play a vital role in helping veterans with physical and emotional challenges. You can get involved by raising awareness, giving financially, or offering your time.
Decorate your home with patriotic symbols to show you care. This can be done throughout the year on any patriotic holiday as well as Veteran’s Day. Have the kids create handmade decorations while they learn the meaning of the flag, gain an understanding of the incredible role service men and women play, and feel pride when displaying their contributions.
Plant a Veterans' Garden
Plant a veterans' garden in your own backyard as a constant reminder of the sacrifice made for you and your loved ones. If you know a veteran, pick a bouquet or a basket of your harvest and present it to them, along with an abundance of thanks!