Today is a day for recognition, respect, and recollection.
A day for us to show the veterans of this great country what their service means to us.
It’s a day to express our appreciation for all they have done for us.
For those of you who don’t know this about me, my grandfather and uncle are both US Army veterans. They bravely served in Vietnam and Iraq for our country. Both sustained injuries and both came back home to us. As a granddaughter and a niece I ask myself what we can do as Americans to show them our gratitude and support.
About Our Veterans
They are just two of the millions of young men and women who serve our country each and every day. I know many others who have been or plan on fulfilling their duties in the US Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, etc. Not to mention those who are not directly in the line of battle who are helping to heal our soldiers and bring them home. What would we do without all of their dedication?
Fun Facts from History.com:
- In 1954, President Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day
- There are approximately 23.2 million military veterans in the United States
- 9.2 million veterans are over the age of 65
- 1.9 million veterans are under the age of 35
- 1.8 million veterans are women
- 5 states have more than 1 million veterans in among their population: California, Florida, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania
- 26 of our now 45 US Presidents have served in the US military
- As of 2013, a total of 3,460 male veterans and one female veteran have received the Medal of Honor, the highest award given for valor in action against enemy forces
All I could say when I read these statistics was “wow.” Why? Because we have SO many veterans in this free country. But, many of these vets are coming home unable to secure education, find jobs, raise families, or integrate back into society because of the lack of resources offered to them. Military men and women are said to be paid lower than most minimum wage workers and, clearly, put 24 hours a day into their jobs!
How could we live in a society where our vets are not a priority? Until the system changes and we see real progress for, not a handful but, a vast majority of our veterans there are ways we can give back. We needed them and they need us.
How can you participate?
Greenlight A Vet
Greenlight A Vet supports America’s veterans. It is a campaign to establish visible national support for our veterans by changing one light to green. This initiative recognizes the devotion and sacrifice our vets have made for us.
It’s easy. Just change one light in your house, office, dorm, etc. to green and let it shine every day to show your support and appreciation of the veterans in your life and around the country. Last but not least, put your light on the Greenlight A Vet map. This way veterans across the country can visualize your support!
Tell your friends about it and share the message. The more Americans who recognize our veterans, the more assistance they will find when they need it the most. Use the hashtag #greenlightavet and consider using the Greenlight A Vet filter to make your profile pic glow green for our veterans! Remember, we live free because of their devotion.
So far there are 4,811,733 ‘green lights’ for vets across the country. Check out the map to see who is lighting up in your area.
AMVETS Mission Statement: To enhance and safeguard the entitlements for all American Veterans who have served honorably and to improve the quality of life for them, their families, and the communities where they live through leadership, advocacy and services
AM Vets makes donating easy. You can make a monetary donation on the website or have them come to your house and pick-up unwanted, lightly-used clothing that is filling up your closet. You can schedule a pick-up online or call the number in your area.
Go to http://amvetspickup.org/ to make your contribution today!
It’s quick, easy, and a fantastic way to benefit the veterans. In addition to men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing they also pick up the following items:
Bedding . Small Appliances . Kitchenware . Computers
Books . TVs . VCRs . CDs . Radio . Stereo . Furniture
Bicycles . Dishes . Pots . Lamps . Toy/Games . Lawnmowers
Knick Knacks . Tools . Curtains/Drapes . Seasonal Items
One Hope Wines
Heading out to the liquor store to pick up wine for this weekend? There are ways you can easily give back without spending another penny. Yes, you can buy what I call ‘give back wine.’ Every bottle of wine gives back to our vets.
To date, One Hope has sent 927 veterans to aid in natural disaster. Check out this line on their website to support the troops. They have gift boxes perfect for the holidays and bottles of wine that are a wonderful addition to any wine rack whether you are bringing it to another’s house or keeping it at your own!
One Hope has a lovely collection of red blends to choose from:
To top it off… how fun are these bottles? I’ll take two (maybe three) *wink, wink*
There are many other ways you can support the veterans aside from those I’ve suggested above. Even taking a few minutes out of your day to thank a vet or to pay gratitude to veterans can make all the difference. I encourage you to do a little research and choose the method that makes the most sense for you.
I want to recognize the following employers who have consistently provided US veterans with jobs within their corporations:
- General Electric
- Comcast NBCUniversal
No good deed goes unnoticed and will be greatly appreciated by those who have dedicated their lives to us. Let’s make their paths home easier!
Click here to read last years dedication post