There are certain things that set our military citizens apart from the civilians. Our troops see the world in a completely different light than the rest of us. Only about 1% of the entire US population is made up of people in the military. It’s easy to feel like an outsider. We can tell who they are from the uniform that they wear, their haircut, and the way that they hold themselves. It’s a big job that takes an incredible amount of sacrifice. Yes, we should say, “Thank you”, but even more so - put those words into action.
1. Send a Care Package: For those who are fighting oversees, a little taste from home can be the greatest gift. They work 24/7 oversees and don’t have much personal space to call their own. Send the troops everyday items like a toothbrush, soap, floss, candy, pictures, magazines, books, etc. If you know the person, you’re sending it to, then personalize it to them. Send pictures of loved ones, activities that they enjoy, and drawings from their kids.
2. Have The Kids Write Letters: Have your kids write letters to the troops. Let them color them and decorate it however they want. Encourage them to write about how much they love and miss them. You can send these letters to someone specific or to an outpost to be displayed for everyone.
3. Support Their Wives: If you know someone personally, then come alongside them and help however you can. Bring them a meal, watch their kids for free, or just be an ear and a shoulder to cry on. If you don’t have someone in your life that is a military SO with a spouse overseas, then you can help support them through organizations such as Operation We Are Here.
4. Donate Your Frequent Flyer Miles: Maybe your job requires you to travel constantly, or you do it for pleasure. Whatever the case may be, if you have miles to spare, there is an organization that will accept them. Donate your miles to Hero Miles so that active military and veteran families are able to visit family or take trips.
5. Help Build A Home: There is a need for veteran homes no matter where you live. Some veterans may need adaptive accessories such as ramps, railings, etc. You can connect with a local organization to help out in your neighborhood.
6. Sponsor a Service Animal: Over ⅓ of our deployed troops will suffer from PTSD. By sponsoring a pet, you can help cover the costs of taking care of the pet, with food, vaccines, and specialized training. Companion pets are helpful for those who have served in any capacity.
7. Listen: If you do nothing else, LISTEN. Listen to them as they tell their stories. Don’t shy away from the hard talks. Let them get their feelings out, make them feel appreciated with their experiences, and make sure that their story lives on by sharing it with others.
We have one of the best militaries in the world, but that comes at a cost. Support your troops with your actions and your words. Recognize the sacrifices that have been given for you and do what you can to honor those making our freedoms possible.
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