With December comes Pearl Harbor Day on December, 7th, the time when we remember that “date which will live in infamy,” and all the soldiers that lost their lives on the day of that surprise airstrike on Pearl Harbor. Along with the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, December is packed with holidays, and it’s the perfect time of year to take some time out to honor a veteran in a special way. If you want to show a veteran that you care, here are some great ways you can honor a veteran this holiday season.
1. Donate Blankets to Local VA Hospitals
Veterans hospitals are often overworked and understaffed, and they work hard to service the men and women who have fought for this country. If you’d like to honor a veteran during the holiday season, consider donating blankets to your local VA hospital. It’s fine to purchase some warm blankets, or you can spend the time making one yourself to add your own personal touch.
Another idea is to contact your local VA hospital to find out about any other donations they may need this holiday season. Recovering veterans can often benefit from socks, gloves, mp3 players, DVDs, and other items that can be given as special gifts during the holiday season. It’s always a good idea to check first to make sure you’re giving special donations that can be best used.
2. Get Involved in Wreaths Across America
Honor veterans who have fallen in battle through the years by getting involved in Wreaths Across America. This organization works across the country during the month of December to place wreaths on as many fallen soldiers’ graves as possible. In 2007, this organization started just placing the wreaths on the graves in Arlington National Cemetery. Now they place wreaths on graves in over 900 different locations.
There are many ways for you to get involved. You can donate money to help pay for the wreaths. Another idea is to get out to a local cemetery to help place the wreaths. This can be a wonderful activity to do as a family during the holiday season, so everyone in your family can have a part in doing something to help honor veterans during the holidays.
3. Support the Wounded Warrior Project
The Wounded Warrior Project is a charity that offers career counseling, rehabilitation, and activities to wounded veterans, as well as their families. The great thing about this charity is that there are so many ways for you to get involved. One option is to host a Supporter Event to help raise money for the charity. Another great option, which is especially helpful during the holiday season, is to send out letters to injured veterans. A special holiday card can make a difference in a veteran’s life during the holidays. You can also make donations to the Wounded Warrior Project in honor of a loved one who was a veteran, which is a special way to honor a veteran in your family during the holidays.
4. Adopt a Veteran’s Family for Christmas
Many veterans have a very tight budget, which can make the holidays hard. Honor a veteran this year by adopting a veteran’s family for Christmas. If you know of local veterans in your area, consider adopting one of the families and putting together a gift of items for a special holiday dinner, since a big holiday meal may be something they cannot afford. Purchasing gifts for a veteran’s family can also be helpful and bring a bit of cheer to veterans who are struggling financially.
5. Volunteer to Help Disabled Veterans in Your Community
Department of Veterans Affairs facilities across the country need volunteers to help with many different duties. They can often use help getting involved in recreational programs, escorting patients to appointments, or even providing a bit of companionship to recovering veterans. During the holiday season, head to your local office to find out how you can help. While volunteering during the holiday season is a great idea, you may decide that you want to give of your time all year long to help honor veterans in your community.
Honoring our veterans for their service and sacrifice is important, and it’s especially important around the holiday season, when many veterans deal with hardships. If you have a family member who is a veteran that needs care, we’re here to help veterans with disabilities.