In Virginia’s First District and in cities and towns all over America, we are surrounded by the Veterans who have served at home and abroad in peace and in conflict. These are the men and women who risked everything—who braved the unspeakable horrors of battle, who missed birthdays and cookouts and first steps, who leaned forward when others were leaning back—to maintain for us the hope of a better future. They are our parents, our brothers and sisters, our teachers and business leaders, and our friends.
Ronald Reagan once said that “Peace is only maintained and won by those who have clear eyes and brave minds.” He was speaking, of course, about our service members and Veterans. We owe them a debt that we can never repay, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try. And what better day than today to start showing our gratitude?
Here are some ways we can say “thank you” to the men and women who have served and those who are currently serving in our United States Armed Forces:
- Show Up: Find a Veterans event or parade in your community, and go show your support! Make your voice present among those heard as our heroes go by.
- Send a Care Package or Letter: There is nothing quite like getting a tangible reminder that you’re in someone’s thoughts, and there are a number of organizations that facilitate letter and care-package drives for our active service members. Don’t forget that words make a difference. Jot down a quick note for a military service member.
- Donate Your Time: Get involved and find out when and where you can volunteer to support and raise resources for our Veterans. Local chapters of Veterans organizations and other non-profit groups are always in need of a little bit of extra support. Say “thank you” with your actions as well as your words.
- Ask a Vet About Their Service: Our Veterans are a living legacy of freedom. Their personal stories are inextricably linked to our national history. Taking the time to listen and to share those stories carries that legacy forward and serves as a reminder that peace and prosperity are impossible without sacrifice.
- Say Thank You: It seems simply enough, but many of our service members have never been thanked in earnest for the sacrifices that they made for us and for our country. Veterans of the Vietnam War are only now being thanked as they should have been, and it is up to us to take on the mantle of gratitude.
To all of our Veterans and active duty troops, THANK YOU AND HAPPY VETERANS DAY!