* originally published May 28, 2012
Monday is Memorial Day here in the United States.
A day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and safety.
What can you do today?
By all means, please enjoy a BBQ, the sun on your face and a drink in your hand. Laugh and goof off with family and friends. Stand in the yard and look up at the sky and revel in the fact that you can do all of these things without fear.
And then, then you can say thank you.
It’s simple, really.
Don’t know a veteran? Local Military hospitals and Veterans Homes would be love to have you volunteer. You can give your time or money. Don’t have a lot to give? That’s perfectly fine … you’d be surprised how far your monies can go.
When I became a citizen, I asked family and friends attending my celebration party not to bring gifts but instead to buy raffle tickets benefiting our local Veterans Home. Together, we raised over $250 for the “fun” fund – this pays for birthday parties, bingo prizes, board games and such. I’ve never been prouder – or smiled harder – than I did walking into the V.A. home to present that check. The same group buys small items for resale in their gift shop: at Christmastime, residents can “shop” for family and friends far away. It’s fun to pick items up throughout the year and bring them forward in the fall. Smiles all around. Volunteer opportunities can be found here http://www.volunteer.va.gov/.
Lastly, please remember the thousands of men and women still serving us every single day. Operation Gratitude aims to provide comfort items to troops overseas. I like to find Beanie Babies(R) at Garage sales and donate discounted candy; my elderly father-in-law crochets scarves and blankets. Together, we pool our donations and giggle as we mail our contributions. You can find a variety of ways to help by visiting their website here http://www.operationgratitude.com/ .
All gave some, some gave all. To our military and their families, thank you.