Appreciating Veterans on Veterans Day

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsEvery year on November 11, Americans honor the 19.6 million active and former U.S. service members who have gone to war. Veterans Day is marked by parades, speeches and solemn ceremonies offering a nation’s appreciation. Here are ways to go beyond saying “thanks for your service” and truly make a difference in a veteran’s life.

Five Ways You Can Celebrate Veterans

1. Treat them to a treat. Consider honoring and recognizing veterans at your company by hosting a lunch in their honor. Invite civilian colleagues to learn about the military experience, show their appreciation for the veteran employees’ military service and build camaraderie among the teams. Whether formal or casual, a special lunch or reception honoring your veterans shows respect and appreciation.

2. Recognize them. Does your company have an internal newsletter or other forms of internal communications? Perhaps highlight the experiences of several veteran employees, showing their successful transition, emphasizing their transferable skills (from military to their civilian careers), and their hobbies, families and interests. Such an effort not only reinforces the value veterans bring to the civilian workplace, but reminds civilian colleagues that veterans are people first, employees second.

3. Share their story. With respect and sensitivity, share the story of the veterans who work for and with you. Oftentimes, civilians are intimidated to inquire about the career choice to serve in uniform, and this is an opportunity to show what military service is like, the challenges and accomplishments of your veteran employees, and the sacrifices made to ensure our Nation’s liberties. Consider sharing your veteran employees’ stories with clients, vendors and the broader community, if appropriate.

4. Serve the family. When a service member commits to military service, their commitment impacts their family significantly. If the service member is married and has children, these people’s lives dramatically change as they learn to live a military lifestyle alongside their spouse and parent. For parents of service members, the decision to put on the uniform is filled with pride and fear. Honoring the families of those who serve — through events, special gifts or recognition — builds positive feelings for your veteran employees.

5. Serve the community. Every community has veteran service organizations (VSOs) whose focus is to provide support to military veterans and families. These VSOs focus on issues from PTSD to suicide prevention to career transition services to temporary housing to equine therapy and everything in between. There is no shortage of organizations positively impacting the post-military life of the service member. Engaging your team in volunteering to build a house for a veteran, providing on-site coaching at a workforce center, or handing out supplies at a veteran homeless shelter brings to light the issues facing our veterans, and can raise appreciation for their service with your civilian team members.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

Comments are closed.