There are many ways to thank a Veteran for their service on this Veteran’s Day. but first, a few personal messages:

To my dad, a 97 years-old veteran of WWII from the greatest generation, we love and miss you. We know you were proud to serve your country.  Thanks dad for joining the fight at a young age and defeating the enemy!

To my brother, Captain Gary Marquardt who lost his life during the Viet Nam conflict, you are missed every day! We haven’t forgotten you and our family loves it when people remember you.  

To the rest of the members of my family who served in several wars and conflicts, your sacrifices have not gone unnoticed. We are especially concerned about those of you who suffer Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury from your time at war/combat or during your service. We continue to advocate for more help from the federal government regarding your health care. You deserve quality care and access to treatment.

Whenever I see those veterans wearing their hats proclaiming which war they served in, I am forever grateful that these men and women stepped up and met the challenge to serve. So, how can we show our appreciation in tangible ways?

1) Hug a veteran. We just celebrated hug a lawyer day! How about a veteran?  If a hug feels like too much, shake a hand or simply thank the veteran for their service.

2) Donate to charities that help veterans. Contact the USOBlue Star Families or Operation Gratitude to find ways to help.

3) Volunteer your time in a VA hospital or facility. Click here to see what you can do and where. You can bring smiles and cheer to many lonely veterans by simply visiting and spending time.

4) Support Fisher House, a non-profit “home” that helps military families with lodging during hospitalization at military medical facilities. You can bring toys, homemade goodies and involve your children in bringing kindness to military families who are receiving medical care.

5) Ask a veteran to share their story. Learn about their lives and sacrifices. Listen to their stories of war and bravery. Most want to talk about some experience they found rewarding or in line with the mission to keep our country free. When we visited with my dad at his apartment, he was surrounded by many men and women who served in a number of wars. Their stories were fascinating and touching. And they loved to share them.

6) Remember, this doesn’t have to be a one-time appreciation. Let veterans know throughout the year that their service means so much to our country and our freedom.

To all our men and women who have bravely fought and served, thank you! Your sacrifice and service are deeply appreciated and the reason we remain a free country. On this day, we salute you!


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