Veterans Day is a day when we honor and give thanks to those that have served our country in war or peace. It's also Military Family Appreciation Month, which is an opportunity to recognize the sacrifices and contributions families make that often go unnoticed.
Donate, Volunteer, and Remember
On Veterans Day, there are many ways to commemorate the occasion and participate in the local community. Keep an eye out for businesses that are partnering with an organization to raise donations for veterans. For example, some restaurants will donate 20% of their sales or collect gift card donations. If you’re looking to get more involved, Veterans Health Facilities are always in need of volunteers. Whether you’d like to work directly with the veterans or work behind the scenes, the veterans and the team of healthcare providers assigned to each veteran are grateful for your time and effort. You can also join the Volunteer Transportation Network, which helps provide transportation for veterans that are seeking services from a VA or authorized facility.
Another great way to honor veterans is to set up a fallen soldier table (also called a remembrance table or missing man table). The table is traditionally set up at military dining ceremonies and service balls, however some schools, restaurants, and other establishments will set up a table in honor of Veterans Day. Consider educating your community by passing out flyers to local businesses, churches, or schools just in case they would like to participate. A fallen soldier table typically has the following elements:
- A round table: symbolizes everlasting concern for the missing man. The table should be near the entrance or in a visible location to represent dignity and honor.
- A white tablecloth: symbolizes the purity of the motive to answer the call of duty
- A single red rose in a vase: represents the blood that may have been shed
- A slice of lemon: represents his bitter fate
- A salt shaker: represents the tears of family and loved ones
- An inverted glass: a reminder that he cannot join in the meal
- An empty chair: shows that he is not there
A frame on the table that explains what it represents is a nice touch as well, so that passersby can understand the meaning behind it. The fallen soldier table is an unexpected and touching way to remember those that have defended our freedom.
Acknowledge and Appreciate
It’s important to remember that there is often a family that has endured hardships in order for their family member to serve in the military. For example, kids have to change schools and make new friends, parents uproot their homes and move far away from friend and family support, and spouses take care of their children by themselves for months at a time. We can show our appreciation for these families by offering to babysit, performing household tasks like mowing the lawn, or simply writing a thank you note. Letting military families know that they are appreciated can go a long way in easing the stress of sacrifice.
Give the Gift of Maglite!
Show military families and veterans that you care this month with a Maglite Flaglite. The limited edition Maglite 3D Full Size LED Flashlight and the Mini Maglite Pocket Size LED Flashlight combine an American flag-inspired design with superior performance. The Flaglite makes a stylish, patriotic gift and is a great tool to help keep the family safe year round.