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I’m so excited to share today’s post with you! As you know, I come from a highly active military family. My husband, Major Hoff, is a retired solider with the US Army. My Father and Father-in-law are both Vietnam Vets. My Grandfather and Grandmother were both WW2 vets. Times have changed since my dad came home from Vietnam, and it is now common to find a much more supportive attitude towards our veterans. There are so many benefits for veterans out there now! Even though it is more common, it is just as appreciated. Sometimes people think you need to do something grand, or something on special holidays, but I am here to tell you—a thank you is appropriate 24/7. I know many of you are interesting in helping veterans! So here are a few easy ways to say thanks to someone wearing our country’s uniform.
1. Say Thank You.
Yes, it’s that easy. It doesn’t have to be a full fledged conversation. Sometimes, just a nod get’s the point across. We’ve had people offer to buy coffee, let us go to the front of the line, or try to buy our dinner. Coming over and shaking the service members hand, and simply saying “Thank you for your service” is perfect. I’m always amazed at people’s generosity. I once watched about 8 soldiers talk out who was going to get the one 1st class seat a kind stranger had donated.
2. Fly a flag.
This is one of my favorites! It’s so easy to do! Even if you only put it out on the major holidays, it gets the point across! Nothing beats seeing a street lined with the Red, White, and Blue! Hang one from your porch or line your driveway. Make everyday look like the Fourth of July! The only thing we ask is that you respect the rules for displaying the flag. These can be found here.
3. Respect Monuments.
This is my pet peeve. Nothing gets to me as much as those who act flippant at such a sobering memorial. Teach your children to be respectful. Last week, while visiting a WW1 battlefield memorial in France, several groups of children came through. We were disappointed to hear them yelling, jumping and goofing off at the actual memorial. There are signs everywhere asking you to be peaceful and quiet, as it is a place of reflection. I get that kids are antsy (I have 4 boys!), but this was not the time or place for this behavior. The amount of men and women who have died for our country is staggering, and a few minutes of quiet reflection is really not to much to ask.
4. Support the Companies that Support the Service Members
I’m happy to say that there are a LOT of companies out there that support the US Military. Some of them are pretty well known, like Home Depot or Lowes. There are a bunch that offer discounts on Veteran’s Day (Shout out to Starbucks for that free cup of coffee!). When you notice that a company is supporting the military, please take the time to thank them. I always try to tell them how much I appreciate it, because it does mean so much to us. If the company sees that people appreciate it, they will hopefully continue that practice.
I was happy to learn the Direct Energy has a program specifically for active duty and veterans. I was unfamiliar with it, and so I wanted to make sure to draw attention to it so my readers will know about it as well. Who doesn’t love to save some money? Here is some information, directly from Direct Energy:
At Direct Energy, we are committed to giving back to those who have given so much to our country. That’s why we have recently launched the military portal, a dedicated space where military personnel can find discounted energy rates for their home energy needs. Plus, once you’re a Direct Energy Customer, you’ll have access to our on time bill payments rewards program, Refer-a-Friend Program, easy, on the go Online Account Manager and more.
To be eligible for the discounted military rates, you must enter your valid ID into our portal. Once it verifies, you will then be directed to a dedicated military plans page. You will then see plans available in your area.
I love to find great savings like this! I’m hoping many of my friends can use this, and I would love to hear if you have!
What ways are you supporting the military? Do you volunteer at the Fischer House or USO? Donate funds to organizations like Wounded Warriors or TAPS? Fly a flag on a regular basis? I’d love to hear from you, just leave a comment below!