What is the Best Way to Thank a Veteran?

Many people hold a deep appreciation for senior veterans but may be hung up trying to decide the best way to thank a veteran. You can thank a veteran at any time for the services they have rendered to their country, but Veterans Day is a great opportunity to reach out to the veterans in your life.

Veterans Day is a day set aside to celebrate living veterans and honor those who have passed. If you need some ideas for how to show your gratitude for what the veterans in your family and community have done, here are a few suggestions.

senior Veterans look out to crowd during a veterans day parade

The Best Way to Thank a Veteran: Your Options

Veterans Day is an important time to show your appreciation for veterans. Here are a few suggestions to help you decide what to do this Veterans Day. 

Time Is One of the Best Ways to Thank a Veteran

Time is one of the most meaningful gifts you can give to someone else. If you have one or more veterans in your life, spend time with them in honor of Veterans Day. Pick them up from their community and take them to dinner or go for a scenic drive. Spending a little extra time with someone who gave so much of their own time to serve our country is a great way to show your appreciation.

Ways to Thank Veterans: Say or Write Thank You

You don’t have to do anything grand to show senior veterans how much you appreciate them. A simple, heartfelt “thank you” will suffice. If you’re not the type who feels comfortable expressing gratitude verbally, consider writing your words of thanks in a note or card. The recipient will surely appreciate your act of kindness, even if you choose to remain anonymous. 

If you know a veteran, you can write them a card. If you don’t know any veterans, you can look up your closest VA office and send one there. You can simply start with a “thank you for your service.” You can also choose to be more elaborate and talk about everything you have achieved thanks to sacrifices others made. 

Proudly Wave the Flag

The veterans in your community were willing to give their lives for the country they love. To honor their sacrifice, proudly wave the American flag on Veterans Day. One of the best ways to thank veterans is to fly the flag outside your home on more than just this holiday. Just remember to follow proper flag etiquette and take the flag down at sunset or have a light shining on your flag through the night.

Spread the Word

Veterans Day is a holiday that can be easy to forget. Unlike other highly celebrated holidays such as Halloween and Christmas, Veterans Day doesn’t receive much in the way of advertisements. To spread the word about this important holiday, take to social media platforms and choose to publicly recognize the senior veterans in your life and your community.

Listen to Their Stories

Many veterans have incredible stories to tell and would love to share those stories with their loved ones. One of the best ways to thank a veteran in your life is by allowing him or her to tell you personal stories about serving in the military. Consider making recordings of these stories so you can share them with your posterity.

Ask Questions

When listening to a veteran’s stories, consider asking them the following questions:

  • What did you do?
  • How long were you in service?
  • What is your favorite memory?
  • Did anyone else in your family serve?
  • Why did you pick the branch you were in?

Avoid asking them whether they’ve killed someone and if they don’t want to share, don’t be intrusive. Instead, just listen to what they want to share and give them your full attention to show you appreciate them. 

A member of the U.S. military salutes the flag to honor his country and thank veterans who have fought for it.

Make a Meal for Local Veterans

Do you like to cook? If so, consider making a meal for the veterans you know. If you’re running short on time, even a simple plate of cookies can mean a lot to local veterans.

Volunteer for Community Veterans Day Events

Check with your community and senior living centers (such as Elder Care Alliance) to see if they offer any Veterans Day events, then volunteer your time to help make those events successful. This will only take a few hours out of your day and is an exceptional way to say “thank you” to senior veterans in your area.

Donate to Veteran-Focused Charities

There are plenty of organizations out there that focus on providing services and support to veterans. Supporting something like our Elder Care Alliance mission or a charity that specifically donates to wounded veterans is a great way to show your appreciation. 

Know the Difference Between Veterans and Memorial Day

Veterans Day shows appreciation for and celebrates veterans and active-duty military personnel. Memorial Day remembers those who have died while serving their country. Confusing these two holidays diminishes their importance and shows that you do not appreciate veterans’ service. 

Visit a Veterans Hospital

Look into volunteering or visiting your local VA hospital and see if you can spend the day with a veteran. Many hospitals have regular lunches or events that you can help with. Even if you never sit and talk with a veteran, participating in these events is a great way to show your appreciation. 

Do veterans like being thanked?

While Veterans Day is all about thanking veterans, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they all like it. While the majority appreciate when you show your appreciation via a “thank you,” many others prefer that you show it by asking them about what they did while they served. 

Any Option Is the Best Way to Thank a Veteran

Officially, there is no best way to thank a veteran. Do something you are comfortable with and that allows you to express your appreciation. Contact us today if you are interested in visiting one of our communities and expressing your appreciation for a veteran there. 

For help or more information contact us or schedule a visit at a location today.