If you’ve ever wondered what motivates men and women to risk their lives to protect our country, Army Staff Sargeant Ty Michael Carter gives the answer. After being awarded the Medal of Honor by the President, Carter told Renee Montagne (NPR’s Morning Edition):
“Even though this award is an awesome honor and a great privilege, in order to get such a prestigious award, you have to be in a situation where your soldiers, your family, your brothers, are suffering and dying around you. And then, you just did everything you could to save lives or prevent further loss.”
Today is Veterans Day, the day we set aside to honor and appreciate those who have “[done] everything [they] could to save lives and prevent further loss.” Here are a few ways you can say thanks to a veteran:
✓ Send a note, or a make a phone call, to a veteran to say thanks for his/her service. You can also visit a veterans’ home and express your gratitude. A word of appreciation can make a veteran’s day—it’s encouraging to know that people are thinking about our military with respect.
✓ Support men and women who are currently deployed. Contact a family that has a loved one deployed and ask them how you can help. Or…perhaps don’t ask them, but rather surprise them with a month’s worth of groceries, or movie pass, or snow removal for the winter, or even by stopping by to pray with them. The important thing is to let our active duty military families know that we want to be there for them while their loved one is deployed.
✓ Attend a local Veterans Day parade today. These parades not only communicate appreciation for veterans, they are a great way to pass on your value and respect for our military to your children.
✓ Donate money to a charity/organization that assists veterans or families of active duty service men and women. This link provides several organizations that help veterans.
These are just a few ideas for how to say thanks…because freedom has not been cheaply purchased.