5 Ways to Show Your Appreciation this Memorial Day

Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2013 1:42 PM
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As Memorial Day approaches, it is a time to reflect as a nation upon the tremendous sacrifices that our men and women in uniform and their families have made in their service to this country.  This article will suggest five ways that you can show your appreciation (throughout the year) to the military heroes in your community.

  1. Honor the fallen.   The purpose of Memorial Day is to honor fallen soldiers so it’s fitting that this be at the top of the list.  One organization that helps to honor soldiers who have died in battle is The Gold Star Family Registry.  The Gold Star Family Registry is an online registry, which allows users to search the database for the names of fallen soldiers and to leave an online tribute in their memory.   You can find more information at http://www.goldstarfamilyregistry.com/.
  2. Say thank you.  This suggestion seems to be common sense, and in a way, goes without saying.  However, oftentimes as we become  immersed in our own day-to-day activities, we may forget to show our appreciation.  This week is the perfect time to make sure that we tell the military members in our community that we appreciate their service.
  3. Volunteer.  Volunteer some of your time at a local organization whose purpose is to help soldiers and their families.  Some organizations to consider include Steps Toward Home and Operation Kid Comfort.  Steps Toward Home is an organization that engages in community-focused fundraisers and helps build homes for returning troops who have been severely wounded in battle.  Operation Kid Comfort provides customized photo quilts for children of deployed troops.
  4. Donate.  If you are able to provide financial assistance to military families, one organization that you can contact is the USO (www.uso.org).  The USO also has a program called “Operation USO Care Package” where you and your family can donate$25 that would sponsor one care package for delivery overseas.  You can also send a “Military Family Care Package” which sends a reverse care package to a serviceman/woman’s family in the U.S.
  5. Foster a Pet.  If you are like me, you love animals.  If you are an animal lover—and have the space to spare—one avenue for giving back is to foster a pet of a deployed troop for the duration of their deployment.  One such organization that matches potential “foster parents” to deployed troops is the Military Pets Foster Project.
I hope that everyone has a fun and safe Memorial Day!

Loren Mathis

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