We here at D’IYANU would like to extend our deepest thanks to all those who have served and protected our country this Veterans Day. We cherish our freedoms and acknowledge that without all that you do for our country, we would not be where we are today.
Originally established in 1918 to honor those who lost their lives in WWI, Veteran’s Day was later expanded in 1945 to celebrate all veterans. Today we want to celebrate all the veterans, from every walk of life, who have served and put their country above all. We especially want to recognize the millions of black veterans who served throughout U.S history and were at times victimized instead of praised for their service. Here are some ways you can celebrate, support and honor veterans this Veterans Day Weekend.
Adopt a Military Family for the Holidays
Some military families – like those with a deployed parent, veteran families on very limited incomes, or families of veterans seriously injured post 9/11 – can participate in the Adopt a Family program, sponsored by Soldiers’ Angels that allows civilians and companies to sponsor a family for the holiday season.
Volunteers can select up to three families to sponsor. For each family, the sponsor provides a gift for each dependent child under the age of 18, as well as a gift card for groceries to help with a holiday meal. The sponsor is responsible for shipping the gifts and card to the family by December 11 to ensure it reaches them by the Christmas holiday. Helping these families have a happier holiday is a simple way to show your appreciation for their service.
Volunteer at a V.A. Hospital
Check out Veteran Aid for information about visiting a local nursing home or V.A. hospital.
Donate Clothing, Shoes, Blankets
Honor veterans by donating shoes, clothing and blankets to an organization that helps homeless veterans who are struggling. Here are three reputable organizations that can always use your help:
- Disabled American Veterans
- The American Legion
- The VFW
Visit Veterans House to find out how to contact these agencies, and others in your community that will facilitate all donations for you.
Participate in VA’s #BeThere Campaign
Sadly, research has shown that almost 70% of veterans who commit suicide are suffering in silence, either disconnected to or unaware of the numerous support services offered through the VA.
In response, the VA is redoubling its efforts to not only connect with at-risk veterans but to encourage other veterans and civilians to be aware of warning signs and take simple yet impactful actions to show their support and approachability in a time of crisis.
The newly launched campaign #BeThere encourages the wonderful idea that no veteran will be left behind. Simple acts like bringing by a meal or sending an email or text can be exactly what a struggling veteran needs to get him or her through a difficult moment. Additional resources included in the #BeThere website are crisis line contact information and social media tools to help spread awareness.