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Beyond Thank You: Actionable Ways to Express Gratitude to Our Veterans

February 13th 2024
In Canada, expressing gratitude to our veterans is ingrained in our culture. From simple "thank you for your service" greetings to grand gestures on Remembrance Day, we often acknowledge the sacrifices made by those who have served in the military. However, gratitude should not be limited to words or only given in November. Genuine appreciation requires action. Let's explore some actionable ways to express gratitude to our veterans that go beyond mere verbal acknowledgments.

Support Veteran-Owned Businesses

One impactful way to show appreciation is by supporting businesses owned by veterans. By patronizing these establishments, you contribute to their livelihood and recognize their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to success beyond their military service.

Volunteer for Veteran Organizations

Numerous organizations dedicate their efforts to supporting veterans in various aspects of their lives, including healthcare, employment, and mental health services. Volunteering your time and skills for these organizations allows you to directly contribute to improving the lives of veterans in your community. We keep an updated list of our urgently needed items on our website. If you cannot give of your time but can provide with donations, look at the list.

Provide Career Opportunities

Transitioning from military to civilian life can be challenging for many veterans. Offering job opportunities or mentorship programs within your company can make a significant difference in helping veterans integrate into the workforce and effectively utilize their skills. Veteran Staffing Canada is a full-service employment agency owned by veterans. It provides support to Canadian companies actively seeking veteran employees.

Educate Yourself and Others

Take the time to listen to and learn about the experiences and challenges faced by veterans, including issues such as PTSD, homelessness, and healthcare access. Understanding their struggles allows you to advocate for better policies and support systems to address their needs effectively.

Offer Practical Assistance

Sometimes, simple acts of assistance can have a profound impact. Whether helping with household chores, offering rides to medical appointments, or providing childcare support, small gestures can alleviate the burdens veterans and their families face.

Listen and Show Empathy

Many veterans carry emotional and psychological scars from their service. Be a compassionate listener and offer your support without judgment. Sometimes, it takes a sympathetic ear to make a veteran feel valued and understood. Remember, their experiences are not yours.

Participate in Commemorative Events

Attend ceremonies, parades, or memorial services honouring veterans in your community. Your presence pays tribute to their service and fosters a sense of camaraderie and unity among veterans and civilians alike.

Advocate for Veteran Rights

Stand up for the rights and benefits entitled to veterans, including access to healthcare, housing assistance, and educational opportunities. Advocating for their well-being will help ensure society recognizes and honours their sacrifices. In Canada, the Minister of Veteran Affairs oversees the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Review and Appeal Board, and the Veterans Ombudsman.

Include Veterans in Social Activities

Invite veterans to social gatherings, community events, or recreational activities. Building connections and fostering friendships can combat feelings of isolation and reinforce a sense of belonging among veterans. Check out your local legion for other ways to engage with veterans.

Express Gratitude Through Art and Creativity

Encourage artistic expression as a form of gratitude. Organize art exhibitions, poetry readings, or musical performances to honour veterans and their experiences. Creative endeavours provide a powerful platform for storytelling and healing.
Expressing gratitude to our veterans requires more than just words of thanks. It demands tangible actions demonstrating genuine appreciation and support for their service and sacrifices. By implementing these actionable ways to honour veterans, we can create a lasting impact and uphold the values of respect, compassion, and gratitude in our communities.

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