Today is Veterans Day. It’s a day when words of thanks will abound for their service. And while this gratitude is nice, it’s not enough. Veterans Day is a day to partner words of gratitude with actions of gratitude.
What will that look like for you? Consider these actions.
1. Talk to a veteran.
Don’t stop at surface level thank you’s. Ask about and listen to their experiences. Our veterans are a diverse community with a wide range of experiences. Some of those experiences are good and some bad. Some of those experiences involve the military but most don’t. Listening, understanding, and welcoming veterans into your community is a powerful gift.
2. Call your congressional leader to advocate for responsible military action.
There are times when it is necessary to use force, but we must enter into those engagements with honest conversations about what it means to ask a group of people to carry our moral burden of causing suffering and sometimes death. Remind your congressional leaders that when they make a decision to put people in harm’s way they have made a lifetime commitment to those people. They must fund fully fund veteran services.
3. Donate to RIP Medical Debt.
This charity was one of our Virtual Giving Circle charities, and it’s a place where a small donation can make a really big impact. According to disabledveterans.org, each year, 90,000 veterans’ emergency room claims are denied — leaving our nation’s defenders on the hook for $3 billion. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that service men and women are twice as likely to file complaints about debt collection than the rest of the population. For every dollar you donate, RIP Medical Debt can purchase between $160 and $300 of medical debt specifically for veterans and their families. A $500 gift can abolish at least $80,000 of veteran debt. Click here to donate.
For more tips on supporting veterans, check out my segment on Colorado and Company: