People who served in the military are true heroes and deserve to be honored for their service. They have made immense sacrifices to protect our country and its people, some paying the ultimate price. If you encounter a veteran, don’t just say, “thank you for your service,” and leave it at that. Here are a few meaningful ways to truly honor the veterans in your life:

Donate to a Veterans’ Charity

So many organizations are out there that help support military members and their families. Show your appreciation by donating to one of them. Not sure which organization to support? Ask your veteran where they would like the resources to go, or ask for suggestions from a military organization.

When it comes to donating, money isn’t the only way to help. Many veteran charities also accept other donations, like clothing and household items. You can also volunteer your time and skills to give back in other ways.

Fly the Flag

This might be an old-fashioned way of showing respect for veterans, but it is timeless. Hang a flag on your porch or in your living room to honor the veterans in your life. You can also visit local events and places where veterans are honored to pay your respects or even place cemetery flags near a veteran’s grave. There are plenty of opportunities to honor veterans and learn more about their service.

To ensure your flag is displayed correctly and cared for, check out the U.S. Flag Code — it outlines guidelines for how flags should be displayed and handled.

Organize a Veterans’ Day Event

This one is especially important if you have multiple veterans — it’s a way to honor them all at once. Consider throwing a Veterans’ Day party with food, music, and other activities to show appreciation. You can even invite the community to join in on the celebration!

Don’t forget to have a few heartfelt speeches thanking those who have served, and let your veterans know how much they’re appreciated.

Write a Letter of Appreciation

Show your veteran how much you care by writing a heartfelt letter expressing gratitude. Let them know how their service has improved the lives of others and impacted the world for the better. Include stories of how their service has inspired you and what it means to have them in your life.

In the letter, you can also share any other words of encouragement for the veteran. In the end, sign it “from a grateful nation.”

Create a Memory Book

Why not create a memory book to make your veteran feel extra special? Include photographs, letters of appreciation, thank-you notes from friends and family, newspaper clippings, and other mementos. You can even include a personalized poem or song that pays tribute to the veteran’s service.

Your veteran will surely appreciate the extra effort you put into honoring them. Plus, they can look back on the memory book for years and be reminded how much they mean to you all.

Help Them Get Involved

The transition from military to civilian life can be difficult for some veterans. An easy way to show appreciation is by helping them get involved in something they’re passionate about. Whether it’s a support group or sports team — it’s a great way to get them engaged and build a sense of community.

You can also help them apply for jobs or educational programs. Many organizations have special programs to help veterans get the job they’re looking for or pursue a college degree. Other organizations have mentorship programs designed to provide veterans with the necessary resources and guidance they need.

Volunteer Together

Honor your veteran by volunteering together. This is a great way to spend quality time with each other while also doing something meaningful. Consider signing up for a volunteer event at a VA hospital or helping at a veterans’ charity.

Your veteran will appreciate that you want to do something special with them, and it’s a great way to show appreciation for their service. Plus, you both get to give back to the veterans’ community — a win-win!

Final Thoughts

No matter how you honor your veteran, they will surely appreciate the gesture. After all, showing appreciation and respect for veterans is something that we can all do. So don’t forget to take a moment and thank those who have served. They deserve it!