Saturday, November 11 is Veterans Day, the one day of the year when we pause to recognize and honor the men and women in uniform and out who make up our military community. While most people tend to think this day is about parades and football and maybe even a welcome day off, this is really our collective opportunity to reflect on the bravery and sacrifice that are often required to preserve peace and prosperity, at home and abroad.
If you are interested in doing something different this Veterans Day, perhaps something more meaningful, you might consider the following:
THANK AND SUPPORT A MILITARY SPOUSE
When an individual raises his or her hand to join the military, their family joins as well. More often than not, military spouses make major sacrifices to support their spouse. There are the long and frequent deployments - periods in which the spouse is left alone to manage the homefront, raise the children, and juggle bills. There are frequent moves, known in military terms as Permanent Change of Station, that make it difficult for spouses to find and hold down a job. While there are many services available for service members, there are far fewer available for spouses. Certainly, anything you can do to thank and support a military spouse in your community will be greatly appreciated.
LEARN ABOUT THE MILITARY COMMUNITY
It is the unique experience of military service that forges service members and veterans into a cohesive military community. Because these experiences are specific to this community, civilians often have little or no knowledge of these experiences or the challenges this community confronts. This Veterans Day, take a bit of time to learn something new about the military community. For starters, we recommend you peruse the amazing library of videos produced by our good friends at PsychArmor. As a first step, we recommend their course, 15 Things Veterans Want You To Know
SUPPORT A VETERAN NONPROFIT
While the VA provides incredible service to our men and women of the military, it is often the nonprofit community that bears much of the burden of helping service members and veterans acclimate to civilian life. Most of these organizations perform amazing services on a shoestring, so any support you can provide will be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in supporting our work at Challenge America, we offer a number of opportunities for doing so. For example, you can support our Music Therapy Retreats, our Art Exhibits, or provide general support for our other ongoing programs and initiatives.