by Margaret RileyWith the upcoming holiday on July 4th, let us not forget to thank a veteran. Even though it is the celebration of our country, those veterans have taken time out of their lives to allow us to continue to live in a free land.
Do you know someone that has served in the military? Do you have a neighbor that has served our country? Take time to show your appreciation. Bake some cookies or your favorite pastry and take to them during our freedom celebration. The smile on that veteran’s face will be the best reward you could ever ask for! There was a time in their life that they wondered if they would be able to have a home and a family while serving our country. Perhaps you could paint them a plaque with their house number on it or paint a rock to place in their flower bed (place in their flower bed when they are gone shopping). Imagine how surprised they will be to find a rock painted in red, white, and blue with “Thank you for serving!” painted on the underside of the rock.
Teach your little ones to be respectful of a veteran. Have them paint a picture of something patriotic. Mail it or deliver it to a veteran.
I’ve been known to see a person in their military uniform at a restaurant and pay for their meal. What a great reward to see their face light up when they find out that their meal has been paid for. (I tell the waitress to keep me anonymous.)
If you don’t personally know a veteran, find a health care facility as they will surely have someone that served in a war or in the military. Take small flags to hand out to each veteran. Have your children make stars for the facility to hang up with the veterans’ names on them.
If you are going to have a 4th of July party, ask a veteran to attend and give them your appreciation at the party. Decorate a chair to have the veteran sit in and have the veteran go first in line when a buffet dinner is served.
Remember, while you were having games and fabulous food on past holidays, that veteran may have been in 110-degree heat with sand and enemy all around them or in a jungle in a tropical country fighting off the enemy.
As we watch the fireworks explode above us, sing our national anthem, and enjoy family and friends, remember those that laid their lives down and those that never made it home. Let the tears well up in your eyes and the pride engulf your heart as you think how lucky you are to be a United States citizen enjoying freedom. Thanks to all our veterans!!