Today’s question was particularly timely in honor of Veteran’s Day:
In the spirit of both building connections and expressing gratitude, I want to do something to show my appreciation for Servicemen and women, Veterans and their families. Any advice?
First, I want to wish all current and retired Servicemen and women and their families a meaningful Veteran’s Day and express my deep gratitude for your courage and commitment to our country and to thank you for guarding over every American at home and abroad. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Second, I want to address the question at hand with some suggestions for reaching out to Military personnel, Veteran’s and their families:
- Buy the Coffee. One of my favorite things to do when I am in a coffee shop or restaurant and spot a member of the military in uniform is to secretly purchase his or her coffee or meal. I don’t know why, but I just love it! You can do the same any day of the year. After the individual receives news of your gift, you can either remain anonymous, simply go over and say, “Thank you,” or, if appropriate, engage him/her in conversation. Whatever the case, you will both leave feeling great.
- Send a Card. Especially during the upcoming holiday season, it can be lonely and heart-rending to be far away from family and friends. That is why it is a nice idea to send cards and care packages to deployed Military personnel and/or to Veterans who are presently receiving care in VA hospitals and centers. There are many organizations that can help get you started; I like to send mine through the American Red Cross Holidays for Heroes.
- Assist with Career Transitions. As Servicemen and women complete their service and transition to civilian life, they are often in need of full- or part-time employment. Does your organization offer an easy path to entry? Do you have skills that you can lend to assist such individuals with resume writing, interview skills, introductions? Can you make recommendations or help Veterans with referrals into companies for which their skillsets may be a fit? Sometimes your interest and encouragement are just what is needed to help Vets get their career transition underway.
In what ways have you connected with and/or shown your appreciation to Military personnel, Veterans and their families? Please share. And, if you are one of those aforementioned individuals, once again, thank you for your service. If you would, please take a moment to comment on ways that civilians have shown their appreciation to you or ways that you wish we would! Wishing everyone a meaningful Veteran’s Day.