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shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com November 6, 2018 • Page 7 How to Show Your Appreciation to Members of the Military Civilians who join the military find their lives change forever upon entering the service. The armed forces shape a person, teaching discipline, humility, bravery, and many other life lessons. Joining the military often means making substantial personal sacrifices, as servicemen and women are typically called away from their families and the comforts of home. Many grateful men and women want to show their appreciation to those who risk their lives to defend their country, but they may not always know how. The following are a number of ways you can show your appreciation to members of the military. * Thank a service member. If you see a person in uniform, thank them for their service to the country. Use the person's title if you can identify rank, or simply use the respectful terms of "sir or madam." Though a simple gesture, a verbal token of gratitude can go a long way toward brightening a soldier's day. * Volunteer with a veteran's association. Volunteering is another way to show veterans and active service members how much you appreciate the sacrifices they have made. Volunteer at a veteran's hospital or help to organize an event that's commemorating the efforts of local veterans and active service members. * Propose an event to honor local service members. Petition a town council for a special parade to honor your community's military personnel, including veterans and active duty members. * Raise funds. Fundraisers are another way to show military members how much you appreciate their service. Collect money for a military-based scholarship, asking a local high school or university to establish the scholarship in the name of a local veteran or active duty service member. * Provide a forum in which a serviceman or servicewoman can share his or her story. Soldiers can offer unique insight on issues that affect civilians, and the community can benefit from servicemen and women who share their stories. When hosting a community event, ask a soldier to be a keynote speaker. * Send gifts to active military. Make care packages or write cards and thank you notes to stationed troops. Organizations like the USO, Military-Missions.org or AnySoldier.com can ensure your packages make their way into the hands of soldiers. * Help an active duty service member's family. Spouses of active duty military personnel often must handle all of the chores that come with managing a household on their own. To show how much you appreciate a service member's efforts, offer to lend a hand around his or her house. This can make life easier on a service man or woman's spouse, and your companionship may provide a world of good. You can even go the extra mile by organizing a military spouse appreciation night at a nearby church or recreation hall. Offer free babysitting and provide refreshments and entertainment. * Publicly display your patriotism. Active duty service members and veterans joined the military to defend our way of life, and you can show pride for your country and appreciation for their efforts by hanging a flag outside of your home. * Pick up the tab. Surprise a person in uniform by paying for his or her meal at a restaurant. It's a simple gesture, but it shows how much you appreciate that service member's sacrifice. Gestures that show military personnel how much you appreciate them need not be lavish. Any and all expressions of gratitude can make a world of difference. Remembering Our Veterans The men and women who defend the liberties and freedoms of the countries they represent hold a special place in people’s hearts and an eternal spot in their countries’ histories. Any opportunity is a good time to commemorate the bravery and selfless deeds of military personnel, but certain prominent holidays in November make this an especially important time to thank veterans for their service. November 11 is Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada. It’s also known as Armistice Day in other parts of the world. These holidays honor all military veterans who have provided service to their countries, and that each falls on November 11 is no coincidence, as the day commemorates the anniversary of the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Many places around the world pause and remember fallen veterans on November 11, but a good majority of Veterans Day and Remembrance Day commemorative events focus on past and current veterans who are still alive. There are many ways to honor the military at home and abroad in time for the November festivities. The following are just a handful of ways to show appreciation for military men and women. • When dining out, ask your server if you can pay the tab for a soldier or veteran you see in the restaurant. • Attend a military parade with your family and explain the significance of the day to children in attendance. • Draft letters and send care packages to soldiers currently in service far away from home. • Ask your company if Veterans Day or Remembrance Day can be an observed holiday at your place of business each year to pay THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN TARPS THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN TARPS THE MOST TRUSTED NAME IN TARPS homage to servicemen and women. • Visit a military memorial in a city near you. Your town also may have its own memorial. • Petition town officials to erect a memorial if your town does not already have one. Such memorials can be a source of inspiration for your community. • Support a military family in your town who may be missing a loved one stationed elsewhere. Make meals, mow the lawn, help with grocery shopping, or simply provide emotional support. • Volunteer time at a veterans’ hospital. You may be able to read with veterans or engage in other activities. • Get involved with a military support charity that can provide much-needed funds to struggling families or disabled veterans. • Have children speak with veterans in your family, including grandparents, uncles and aunts or even their own parents. It can help them gain perspective on the important roles the military plays. • Ask a veteran to give a commencement speech at a school or to be the guest of honor at a special function. • Drive disabled veterans to doctors’ appointments or to run any errands. • Support a local VFW organization. • Create a scrapbook for a veteran in your life. • Cheer for or thank military personnel each time you see them. • Visit the veterans’ portion of a nearby cemetery and place poppies or other flowers on the graves. • Always keep the military on your mind and never forget those who have served and didn’t return home. Armistice Day, Remembrance Day and Veterans Day are great ways to honor past and current military for their service and sacrifice. We thank all those who have served our country! 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