The chances are good that most know someone who has served in the military. Some are spouses, family members, close friends and neighbors. Each of these people selflessly served their country, helping protect our freedoms. Finding a way to show appreciation to a veteran should be a priority for all of us who know one.

Thankfully, there are many ways to do this. While Veteran’s Day offers the perfect time to say “thank you” to a veteran, it’s something people can and should do all year-round. The following ideas can help you find ways to say “thank you.”

How Did Veterans Day Start?

Ways to Show Appreciation to a Veteran

Every person is different, of course. You know best what the veteran in your life will most appreciate. But if you are looking for ideas, the following provides a good place to start.

Visit a Memorial

Many veterans want to visit memorials but may feel hesitant to do so on their own. Having friends and family along offers important support for veterans during what can be an emotionally overwhelming experience.

Donate Money to a Good Cause

Over the years, you will learn the causes supported by the veteran in your family or among your friends. One way to show gratitude for them, and respect for their opinion, is to offer a donation to that cause. They can range from those that focus on veterans, such as The Bob Woodruff Foundation, to those unrelated to military service. The important part is offering your donation to a cause the veteran supports.

Fly Your Flag Properly

Many might think this is a small thing, but it is not. Veterans from every military branch and all times of service made great personal sacrifices to protect the flag and the people who live under it. The United States government provides rules on how to display the flag at different times during the year, as well as how to properly take care of it.

Buy a Unique Gift

A personalized gift is a good way to show appreciation for a veteran, especially a spouse, family member or close friend. The veteran’s interest will dictate the gift. However, one unique idea for those who enjoy knives is to gift a knife with a personalized laser marking (something offered by KRUDO Knives). You may also want to include a coin with your gift knife.

Why Include a Coin When Gifting a Knife

Ask Them About Their Service

Some veterans may not want to talk about their service, but they should always have the option to do so if they choose – especially with close family and friends. Questions can include asking how long they served, what they did, why they chose their branch of service and if any other family members served. The key is to be supportive, and not intrusive.

Become a Volunteer

If your friend or family members frequently uses a VA service or a VA hospital, make time to become a volunteer. It’s not only a way to show appreciation for the veteran in your life, but also show support for all veterans you come across in your volunteering duties.

Support Veteran-Owned Businesses

Transitioning out of the military and into the civilian workforce can prove tough for some veterans. While they all deserve your support, this is especially true if they have taken the risk of becoming an entrepreneur and running a business. Making a point of buying from their business is a great way of showing appreciation.

These are some of the ways to show appreciation to a veteran. The important thing is to make the effort. The veteran in your life will recognize what you have done and appreciate that you care.

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