Texas Living

5 Ways to Honor Veterans

By Brian Kendall 11.9.16

With Veteran’s Day just around the corner, it’s important to give back to those in uniform in ways big and small. Simple gestures like a hearty handshake combined with a tip of the hat to the vet standing in line with you at the coffee shop, or linking your online and in-store purchases to donate to military charities, here are some ways you can salute our country’s military.

Donate to charity 

Did you know you can donate to your military charity of choice each time you buy groceries or shop online?

  • AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. A quick search for the phrase “military” yielded more than 7,000 results, on both a local and national scale.
  • Link your grocery rewards cards to charitable foundations, such as the USO or Fisher House, with programs like Tom Thumb Good Neighbor and Kroger Community Rewards. Check with your local grocery story or supermarket to see if they offer a community or charity donation program.  

Talk to a vet, and ask about their time in the military 

Taking the time to chat with a veteran can go a long way in bringing a smile to their face. Most vets have a wealth of stories they love to tell and would be delighted to share them with a new audience. They’ll be grateful for the conversation, and you’ll walk away enlightened — and maybe a little bit more knowledgeable about historical events.  

Volunteer with the Department of Veterans Affairs

VA hospitals always need a helping hand. Whether working directly with patients, organizing recreational activities, or simply serving coffee, a little help at a veteran’s hospital can help in a big way. Go to the VA Voluntary Service’s website to learn more and sign up to volunteer.

Visit a veteran’s gravesite 

Pay your respects to veterans who gave their life to serve our country by visiting your local military cemetery. Placing flowers and American flags by their gravestones helps ensure that we distinguish their sacrifice each and every day. You can visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website to find a veteran’s gravesite or a nearby veteran’s cemetery. 

Say “thank you” to those in uniform

A small gesture, such as a handshake or a “thank you,” can go a long way in the eyes of a current military member. If you see a military family dining out, flag a waitperson and see if you can arrange to pick up the check for their meal.

Read how military service members, Aubrey Lynn and Wade England, give back to those in uniform with their passionate commitment to those who serve.