Many Americans want to thank veterans for their service to the country and many American children these days know someone who has served in the military. It could be one of their relatives, neighbour or a teacher. Doing something with your kids to thank a veteran and to celebrate this day together is a good way to honor those they know and respect for their service in the name of our country.
1. GIVE THANKS TO THOSE WHO SERVED
Saying thank you is a simple but powerful way for your kid to thank a veteran for their service. Attend a Veterans Day parade in your area - many local vets will participate in parades or special events this day. You and your kids can thank someone you personally know or approach a veteran at the event – many vets will be in uniform. Ask questions about their service, be supportive and listen without being intrusive.
A simple thank you can make servicemen or servicewomen in your community feel appreciated, especially if it comes from a kid.
2. WRITE A THANK YOU LETTER TOGETHER
If a relative or a close friend is a former member of the military, your kids might wonder how to thank a veteran they personally know. They might want to do something extra special and writing a thank you letter is just the right way to show gratitude and respect. While writing, tell your kids more about the story of our country and explain why honoring the service of veterans is so important.
Younger kids can simply draw a colourful picture - like a flag or plane - and sign the postcard. Older kids can write something nice about the person they are making a letter for, give thanks and express gratitude and appreciation. When you're finished, send the letter by mail or deliver it in person.
Veteran’s Day is a great opportunity for your children to thank a vet and to learn more about US history. Be careful with younger kids, however, and approach the subject of war and death delicately. A better option for this day is to focus on the topic of patriotism and the time of peace when everyone is safe and back at home.
3. DELIVER A HOMEMADE GIFT TO A VETERAN
Another great way for your kids to thank a veteran is with a homemade gift or some art. You and your kids can make a hand-made Veteran’s day certificate together and give it to someone you want to thank or come up with a drawing with an encouraging and thankful phrase. You can support veterans in your local area by taking your craft to a nearby VA hospital to show your appreciation and gratitude for their service.
A great idea for a homemade gift is sweets. Make a bunch of cupcakes using the colours of the American flag and bring it to the nearby facility. Many VA facilities will have events on Veterans Day or a special lunch you can help prepare. It is a great way to thank a veteran and teach your kids how to support people in different life situations.
4. WRITE A POEM WITH YOUR KIDS
It is a great way to thank a vet and boost your child’s creativity. There are plenty of ways to make the poem-writing process easy, educational and fun for both you and your kid. Come up with a small poem describing why you feel grateful for veteran’s service and why this day is so important for our country and all its citizens. If you don’t know how to thank a veteran on a budget and make it extra meaningful and special, this is a good way to go.
Your kids can draw colourful illustrations for the poem - go for something bright, patriotic and happy.
Your kid can then learn the poem heart and read it to the veteran, or give out printed copies at the Veteran's Day parade.
5. VOLUNTEER AND DONATE
RES, NON VERBA! It is especially valuable to thank a veteran with not just your words but using your actions as well. Contact your local Veterans’ organization or hospitals to see how you and your kids can contribute.
Volunteering and donations are acts of gratitude that are appreciated any day of the year, not only on Veteran’s Day. Volunteer work can be different: it can even be something as simple as cooking and bringing warm meals to the hospitals or to homebound veterans. Your children can help you in all stages of the process. Older kids can offer help with yard work and home maintenance.
Another way to contribute is to offer help to military families whose relatives are soldiers currently serving in the field. You can thank a veteran by letting him or her know that their family is taken care of while they are far away from home.