The word “National Treasure” usually conjures up images such as Mount Rushmore, the Lincoln Memorial, or Yellowstone National Park. This Veterans Day, let’s also remember that some of our most precious national treasures are also people.
To all Veterans who have served this wonderful country, we thank you, with all of our hearts.
Here are three ways to help you celebrate Veterans Day and help serve those who have served all of us in the United States.
Speak with a Veteran: Be a part of history by listening.
Chances are you either know a war Veteran personally, or know someone who does. Take the time today to speak with them. Learn about who they are as a person, and the experiences in their life that shaped who they are now. Seek to understand their struggles and their successes. These very important individuals have a lot to share that can and should help us to shape our own personal opinions, as well as our foreign and domestic local and national policies.
Do a Random Act of Kindness for a Veteran.
It could be something as simple as writing a letter to a veteran or an active-duty service member, or even just taking the time so personally thank a Veteran for their service, your time and care is invaluable. Doing kindness for others also feels wonderful! November 13th is World Kindness Day – wouldn’t you love to start early and have something extra to share with others to inspire them?
When WWII Veteran Harold “Tom” O’Brien came to our Chicago office and told us that the VA would not be covering the dentures that he needed, we knew that helping him would be the right thing to do, and we were happy that we could have a positive impact in Tom’s life, even if in a small way.
It is often our instinct to walk past a homeless person on the street, but according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), 49,933 veterans are homeless on any given night. Taking the time to provide food, warm clothes, or other comfort to a homeless person could very well also be helping a Veteran in need.
Support our Veterans However You Can.
If you are able to donate money, goods, or services to help Veterans and their families, please consider doing so. Your time is also an invaluable resource, and many non-profits and programs geared towards helping Veterans rely on the time and effort of volunteers. Here are some active programs that are helping Veterans in our area:
Volunteers of America: Volunteers of America is a church without walls that answers God’s call to transform our communities through a ministry of service that demonstrates to all people that they are beloved.
The Wounded Warrior Project: To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.
Veterans Administration (VA) Volunteers: VAVS is committed to engaging American citizens in service during the summer months and provide lasting benefits to the veterans and communities in which they live through volunteer service.
DAV (Disabled American Veterans): DAV is dedicated to a single purpose: empowering veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. We accomplish this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.
Homes for Our Troops (HFOTUSA): Homes for Our Troops (HFOT) is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for the most severely injured Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to honor American Veterans as the national treasures they are. How can we better serve American Veterans? Please share your experiences, needs, ideas, and thoughtful conversation.