7 Ways to Support Our Military Members and Their Families
“This will remain the land of the free so long as it is the home of the brave.”
We celebrate and thank military members and their families on a few special days throughout the year, like Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, however, the things we thank them for are things they give up for our nation every day of the year.
.My husband and I are both members of the US Air Force and we have spent almost half of our relationship in separate places, split up throughout the 11 years we have been together. To some, that is going to sound like an impossible feat and a huge sacrifice, then there are others who would wish they spent that much time together with their spouse. Over the years, my husband and I have both come and gone through revolving doors, between deployments and required training, ranging from weeks to months at a time. We have been lucky however, in that our longest separation was 8 months long, while many families have experienced year long separations on more than one occasion. We have also had limited departures since our children were born which is another blessing many families have not been so lucky to experience.
Separation and sacrifice is something military families know all too well and yet they are so often still willing to give more to support their fellow military families in need. There are many ways you too can show your support to the people who sacrifice so much for our country’s freedom as well as the people who support them. A simple thank you can go a long way when showing gratitude to our military members and first responders and I’ve also compiled a list of 7 different ways you can show your support.
What is your story and what is your favorite way to show support to our military members and their families?
1. Donate Items
There are many organizations that accept different types of donated items throughout the country and put them towards Veteran and military member based programs. Depending on where you live will determine what you can donate and where they will accept it. Accepted items range from clothing, appliances, electronics, furniture and much more. Clothing Donations is a great place to start.
2. Donate Money
Money is something that never goes bad and can always be put to good use. Whether its to programs that supply care packages to deployed military members or programs that help veterans who suffer from PTSD, money can always make a difference. Find a program or organization that you connect with or that means something to you and bless them with any monetary donation you are capable of. You can also donate through Amazon Smile where you can choose an organization to benefit from your online purchases through Amazon with no extra cost to you.
There are so many small organizations doing big things all over the country for military members and their families. Depending on where you live you may have one of these organizations near you that would greatly benefit from your time and lending hand. There are also nation wide programs that you can check in with like the USO and Veteran’s Affairs who are always looking for people . If you are an animal lover you can sign up to become a border for the pets of deployed troops through Dogs on Deployment.
4. Care Packages and Letters
You can send a care package or letter on your own through someone you know who is deployed or through groups who regularly collect and send them to military members. Some great groups are Support Our Troops for both letters and care packages and Operation Gratitude. Some are even geared towards specific groups such as Operation Courage is Beautiful which sends care packages specifically for female service members.
5. Adopt a Troop
With the holidays right around the corner this is something you can do to truly make a difference in an individual’s life. Many military members we be kept away from their families and loved ones while deployed around the world. Sending something special specifically to an individual can make their day or even their week and make their separation a little bit more bearable. A few organizations you can do this through are America’s Adopt a Soldier, Soldier’s Angels, Operation Shoebox and Any Soldier.
6. Offer a Discount
If you are a business owner and want to show support, offering some sort of discount is a great way to do this. This can be applied to both product and service based businesses in either percentages off or a fixed amount. Many national retailers offer year round discounts which you can check out here. Other places to look for discounts would be car rentals, amusement parks, cell phone carriers and restaurants, many of which are listed here. Some of the discounts dedicated towards military members and their families that I use often are Lowes, Verizon Wireless, AMC movie theaters and Raising Canes! Verizon is a great example of a military friendly business offering exclusive discounts for military, vets and their families with deposits covered at any Verizon on-base location.
7. Reach out to a family with a deployed military member
When part of a family dynamic is missing even simple things like grocery shopping can seem like a huge feat. Offering to help out a family when a spouse is deployed can take very little effort on your part but can make a huge difference in their lives. Some ways you could help would be through babysitting, mowing the lawn, carpools, make a meal or run errands. You can start an organized meal train for a family in need and share it online for others to sign up for specific days and times.
If you live near a military base and you would like to get involved, you can always check in with their Public Affairs office who would either supply you with the information for volunteer opportunities or give you the number of someone else who could!
This blog post was written in a paid partnership with my friends at Verizon Wireless but all thoughts and opinions are my own #brandparter #VerizonSalutes
Head on over to their website to see all of the different discounts they offer to military members and their families!
In 2019 Verizon was voted #1 Military friendly for commitment to military employees, customers and suppliers, the #1 Military friendly spouse employer, and best for vets employer with over 11,000 employed Veterans.