In the United States, patriotic holidays are a big cause for celebration. Independence Day is just around the corner, and while the observance isn’t directly related to veterans, special attention is always paid to those who have served. But what if you want to do something more? How can you show your appreciation to military veterans—not just on the Fourth of July but all year long? At COGUM Global, our organization is dedicated to providing homeless veterans housing and programs. We encourage everyone to celebrate the contributions of veterans. Here are some easy ways you can express your thanks to people who have served in the military.

  1. Tell them how you feel. Sometimes the best thing you can do doesn’t cost a thing. Tell a veteran that you appreciate his or her service to our country. This simple act serves two important purposes. First, it gives you the opportunity to really think about the sacrifices veterans and their families make. Second, it gives you the chance to show a veteran that you acknowledge what they’ve done. Unfortunately, many veterans feel forgotten or ignored. Saying “thank you” is more than just a gesture. It’s something that can bring real meaning to someone’s life.
  2. Learn about the military. Unless you’ve served in the military, there are probably many things you don’t know. While veterans understand that civilians haven’t been through the same training or had the same experiences, it’s helpful to educate yourself so that you can be more aware. Learn about the different branches of the military. Study up on different terms that are used, including rank. Read news articles to learn about issues that are currently facing veterans, such as homelessness and health care.
  3. Visit with a veteran. Now that you’ve learned a little bit more about what it means to serve, put that knowledge to use in conversation. The more you know, the more comfortable you’ll feel talking with someone about their military experience. Keep in mind that not all veterans may enjoy talking about their time in the service; they may have seen and experienced things that are painful to remember. If you see a veteran in public, take a moment to assess whether they seem open to a conversation. You can also connect with an organization that serves veterans or one that serves senior citizens. For example, nursing homes typically have lots of veterans who are looking for companionship.
  4. Support veterans with your money. There are many ways to support veterans financially. Donating to veteran-focused charities, for example, may help improve their quality of life. But there are other ways you can use your money to show support. Shop at businesses that are owned by veterans. If you own a business yourself, consider hiring a veteran or the spouse of a veteran. You can also offer discounts or special incentives to veterans who shop at your business.

These are just a few of the many ways you can show your appreciation to veterans. If you’re interested in learning more about the issues facing veterans, call COGUM Global today. We’re raising awareness of things veterans need, like affordable housing. Get involved by contacting us today!