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  • Writer's pictureMikey

How To Be Impactful On Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a well-known American holiday, but there are also a few misconceptions about it — like how it's spelled or whom exactly it celebrates. To clear some of that up, here are three critical facts you should know.

1: No apostrophe needed

Many people think it's "Veteran's Day" or "Veterans' Day," but they're wrong. The holiday is not a day that "belongs" to one veteran or multiple veterans, which is what an apostrophe implies. It's a day for honoring all Veterans — so no apostrophe needed.

2: Veterans Day is not the same as Memorial Day

Many Americans get this confused, and I'll be honest... it can be a little annoying to all living veterans. Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country, particularly in battle or from wounds they suffered in combat. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it's primarily intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

3: Other countries celebrate it, too

World War I was a multinational effort, so it makes sense that our allies also wanted to celebrate their veterans on Nov. 11. The name of the day and the types of commemorations differ, however.

Canada and Australia both call Nov. 11 "Remembrance Day." Canada's observance is pretty similar to our own, except many of its citizens wear red poppy flowers to honor their war dead. In Australia, the day is more akin to our Memorial Day. Great Britain calls it "Remembrance Day," too, but observes it on the Sunday closest to Nov. 11 with parades, services, and two minutes of silence in London to honor those who lost their lives in war.

Engagement Is Everything

With Veterans Day upon us, many of you are asking how you can get involved. Sure, you can do a fitness WOD or ruck with a laminated veteran picture on your backpack, but what does that do for the veteran community? I ask more from the Range University family. I challenge you to give your time, energy, and effort towards engagements with veterans. Below are some more selfless ways to give back to veterans 

1: Volunteer at the Veteran's Administration Hospital near you

 Opportunities to volunteer your time:

  • Patient Escort

  • Customer Service – Information Desk

  • Recreational Therapy Support

  • Administrative Support

  • Hospitality Beverage Cart

  • Magazine / Book Car

  • Volunteer Transportation Network (VTN)

VTN was established to provide needed transportation for veterans seeking services from a VA facility and authorized facility. VTN guidelines permit volunteer participation in providing transportation to veterans using a volunteer's privately-owned conveyance or a government-owned vehicle, including donated vehicles, county vehicles, DAV Department (State) or Chapter (local) vehicles, public transportation, and contracted transportation.

Besides helping out veterans in your local community, you will develop life longe friendships. Plus, I ensure you that you will hear movie-worthy war stories. 

2: Volunteer At Veterans Retirement Homes 

  • Patient Escort

  • Recreational Therapy Support

  • Administrative Support

  • Hospitality Beverage Cart

  • Magazine / Book Car

  • Volunteer Transportation Network (VTN)

The Veteran Retirement Homes in each state are filled with elderly and lonely veterans. These aged warriors deserve your time. As a volunteer, you can host game nights, luncheons, field trips, and various opportunities for this isolated population. 

3: Volunteer with the Disabled Veterans (DAV)

  • Home Repairs

  • Assist with Moving

  • Yard Work

  • Offering pro bono professional services

  • Driving to Appointments

4: Help build homes for injured vets

Homes for Our Troops raises money to provide building materials and professional labor free of charge to vets and their families. So far, the organization has built more than 250 homes for wounded veterans.

5: Volunteer at the USO

The USO is a nonprofit organization that provides recreation-type services, care packages, and entertainment to our servicemen and women and their families, both locally and overseas. The USO offers free internet and email access to our deployed troops, housing assistance, support groups, family counseling, entertainment, and more. With more than 160 locations worldwide, military spouses have plenty of opportunities to get involved and help out.

These aren't the only opportunities to get involved in helping veterans. Just remember your time is the greatest gift you can give as an act of service. There are better opportunities to serve your communities than social media approved hero WOD series. When picking your volunteering opportunity, make sure you ask which party benefits more from the activity. “Selfless service” means that you put the welfare of others — and most especially the population you volunteered to serve — above your own, even if that means you don't get everything you feel you deserve. Serve your communities selflessly this Veterans Day.

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