Before Veterans Day there was Armistice Day. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as “the Great War.” November 11th, 1938 became the day the legal federal holiday was celebrated in the United States. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American Veterans of all wars.
How To Thank A Veteran
This is simple. The proper way to thank a Veteran is by saying, “Thank you for your service” followed by a firm handshake and a beer (the beer is optional but highly recommended). Keep the gesture simple and mean it. If you are a Veteran, your response should be, “Thank you for your support.” Remember, people want to be supportive but don’t know how. Be polite, courteous and thankful that people support and appreciate your service.
Do not ask a Veteran or Servicemember about traumatic events during times of service. If he or she is comfortable, they will talk about it and let you know what they want you to know. Think of it this way, you would never ask anyone about traumatic events in their life. It is best to thank them, show appreciation, be supportive and acknowledge their service.
How To Help A Veteran
Most Americans will never serve in the military or fight for their country. Yet there are countless ways that everyone can help veterans, who often return home from war to face their most difficult battles. Those severely injured may need to learn how to live with the loss of a limb or limited mobility. For others, brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder can make the return to civilian life a struggle. Here are a couple of ways you can help Veterans.
Veterans are looking for gainful employment opportunities and can help grow your business. It’s not just the specialized skills that veterans learned while working for the military that can make them different. The very nature of being in the military has given them attributes unlike those that people can gain through any other type of employment. The following skill-sets are just some of what an employer has to gain by hiring a Veteran:
Politeness/Courtesy Communication Skills Professionalism Adaptability Teamwork Willingness To Learn
Critical Thinking Work Ethic Problem-Solving
Integrity/Commitment Leadership Skills Honesty/Loyalty
Multicultural Awareness Working Under Pressure
Interpersonal Communications Procedures/Accountability
Veterans have some incredible traits at their disposal — something that can make them a valuable asset as a part of any workplace team.
Suicide Awareness Amongst Veterans
Many organizations have different research methods and figures on the actual number of Veterans committing suicide. The suicide rate amongst Veterans is at an all time high. There are many suicide awareness groups that can provide resources to help family members and Veterans get the help they need. One source is the Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1). There are many others but this is provided by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Here is a list of the top common health concerns amongst Veterans:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sleep Problems/Disorders
- Physical Injuries - (Back, Neck, Shoulder, Legs, etc.)
Steady progress has been made, but there is more work to do to address the many causes of homelessness among Veterans. These include poverty, insufficient access to reasonably priced housing, isolation from family or friends and substance use or mental health challenges that may develop or worsen as a result of service-related trauma. If you know a Veteran who is homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless, refer him or her to a local VA Medical Center, where VA staff are ready to help. Veterans and their families can also call 1-877-4AID-VET to be connected to VA services.
Countless individuals, organizations, and groups support our Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers. They do a great job, often filling in where other resources left off. You can count on strong support from Americans who volunteer to give back, provide assistance, or otherwise pay tribute to the Veterans. Many do this without fanfare or press releases.
Wherever there’s a Veteran in need, somebody steps up to help in some form or fashion. Paying tribute to our Veterans can take the form of individual expression or large groups showing support. Do some research and carefully choose the organization that best describes how your donation will make a difference. No matter which route you choose, just know that anything you do is much appreciated even by the Veteran who may never know your name.
Let us remember and honor the fallen by making each day count. So, raise your glass and make a toast to the true heroes of the past, present, and future generations of Veterans to come.