Simple, Inexpensive Ways to Show Soldiers and Veterans Your Gratitude

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Many soldiers and veterans could use help in their daily lives, whether they struggle with readjusting to civilian life, have serious medical issues that compromise their quality of life, or deal with any number of other problems on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are ways all of us can help soldiers and veterans with their needs and show our appreciation for their sacrifices ó and they donít require a lot of money.

Assemble a Care Package

One of the most common ways to help soldiers and veterans is to put together care packages to send to them. Whether youíre sending your package to an active or retired military member, there are many items that each one of them can make use of. For instance, personal hygiene items, iTunes gift cards, earbuds, books, and snack foods are things that can put a smile on the face of a soldier or veteran. You can find pretty much everything you need for your care package at major retailers, and you can save money on these items by spotting Black Friday deals and taking advantage of Black Friday promo codes.

Write a Letter

You can also send gratitude letters to soldiers and veterans. Even writing to an anonymous soldier or veteran can make their day and give them something to cherish. When you write, thank them for their service and share a little information about yourself (e.g., interests, hobbies, favorite music, what your average day is like, etc.). Also, you may gain a new pen pal if you include your contact information in the letter.

Help Them Thrive In Their Work

Many veterans, especially those who have a disability, find it difficult to succeed in the civilian workplace. Becoming an entrepreneur is the best chance a lot of veterans have at doing something they love while making a living. You can help by researching some of the different organizations that help wounded veterans thrive in a new career, and sign up to volunteer, mentor or teach classes if you have knowledge and skills in a particular field.

Help Them Make It To Their Medical Appointments

It can also be hard for some veterans to make it to medical appointments. This is often because a disability keeps them from being able to drive and they have no way of getting to the doctor ó especially when the nearest VA center is hours away. Consider volunteering for Disabled American Veterans (DAV), which has a shuttle program that takes veterans to VA medical facilities. If you personally know a veteran, you can always offer to drive them on your own.

Cover The Bill

Finally, one of the simplest and affordable ways you can help an active or retired military member is to pay for their meal or coffee at a restaurant. Whether youíre standing in the same line as a military member or see them sitting in a booth, donít shy away from telling them how you appreciate their service and offering to pick up their tab. However, you can even cover their bill anonymously. Moreover, you can follow the same philosophy at grocery stores, gas stations, and other business establishments.

Taking a little time to help soldiers and veterans is a way to show them that we are truly grateful for their sacrifice. Consider sending a care package and/or letter, and look at organizations where you can help soldiers and veterans succeed in their career. Also, consider driving them to important medical appointments and picking up their tab in a place of business. Small gestures like these can prove significant in the life of a soldier or veteran

Photo credit Burst