Christmas revives memories of time spent with military brothers and sisters for many veterans. It’s a bittersweet time of the year when many, young and old, remember their first time away from home for the holidays, on duty, waiting for a surplus of letters and military care packages.
A Veteran’s Christmas
The gift of giving becomes more than a principle observed in the mind, but it transforms into action.
People with veterans in their families realize the sacrifices soldiers have made for the nation. Christmas, for them, becomes a memorial, thanking veterans for their service. Veterans learn the ultimate lesson in giving when they sacrifice their health and livelihood for the citizens of their country.
So, how can families and veterans turn the Holidays into a veteran memorial?
- Listen to Grandpa’s stories—veterans of wars past tell their stories in order to commemorate the deeds of soldiers who both perished and survived. Appreciation is built on the heroic accounts we hear through the mouths of our veterans. Listening to their stories also help families to understand the terrors of PTSD and the importance of honor, dignity and pride.
- Send a care package to a deployed soldier—numerous organizations provide citizens with the information they need to send an adopted soldier a care package. Guidelines for sending mail to Iraq and Afghanistan is strict, so follow the rules as instructed through the organization. Volunteer at a homeless veteran Christmas food drive—Children learn a lifelong lesson through volunteerism. They will be further influenced if they know they are helping mommy or daddy’s fellow and less fortunate comrades. Homelessness amongst the veteran community plagues American society. Homeless veterans need to be shown that they are not forgotten. Volunteering at a food drive will only take an hour or less out of a families Christmas Eve or Day.
- Give a donation to a veteran organization—the work of America’s charities never stops. They provide clothing, housing, medical care, food and counseling to veterans searching for jobs or riddled with service–related disabilities. Some organizations provide musical instruments or other fun opportunities to active duty and veteran military members. However, they cannot continue to give if they do not secure the necessary funds. Set aside some of your Christmas funds for a reputable organization.
The acts and gifts that can be given to veterans are endless. The most important thing to remember is that we show our appreciation all year and do not forget the sacrifices these men and women have made for the U.S.
Merry Christmas to all veterans and active duty military from the VA Benefit Blog!