How to Support Our Troops and Vets this Veterans Day | Community Spirit

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How to Support Our Troops and Vets this Veterans Day
How to Support Our Troops and Vets this Veterans Day


Today is Veterans Day. To honor the courageous men and women of our Armed Forces, both past and present, here are several ways that folks are supporting these individuals, including ideas on how you can make your impact:

  • At no cost other than your time, thank the troops directly by sending an e-greeting with your special message. Head to Facebook for the U.S. Army page, theU.S. Navy page, the Marines page, the U.S. Airforce page or the U.S. Department of Defense page. Or you can simply visit to leave your message with a few quick clicks.
  • The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund asks you to "Put a Face with a Name," as part of its national effort to collect a picture for each of the more than 58,000 men and women whose names are inscribed on The Wall this Veterans Day. With 21,000 photos and counting, they are closing in on their goal. If you have a picture of a loved one or fellow veteran whose name is on The Wall, please help the Memorial Fund honor these individuals by putting a face with a name. Visit to learn how to submit your photo(s).
  • Unemployment among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is 15%, nearly double the national average. To put a spotlight on this issue, ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is teaming up with the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) to present a one-hour special: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition "Rise and Honor" A Veterans Day Special, airing on Veterans Day. Check your local TV listings.
  • Facebook has unveiled a new U.S. Military page with the goal of bringing together resources and information to help the millions of military personnel, veterans and families stay connected and informed. The company has also launched "A Nation Gives Thanks" app in time for Veterans Day to give people the opportunity to thank active service members, veterans and their families for their service to our country.
  • In honor of Veterans Day, Sam's Club locations nationwide will distribute 36,000 Hugo canes free of charge on November 9th-11th to U.S. military veterans in need of mobility assistance.
  • With the veterans unemployment rate at an all-time high of 12.4%, the Wish Upon a Hero Foundation is launching a national campaign on Veterans Day to give away more than $500,000 to assist active duty and veteran families in need. To learn more, visit the Wish Upon a Hero websitewhere you can post a wish for a vet in need.
  • Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar is thanking our nation's veterans and active duty military for a third consecutive years this Veterans Day, by inviting them to their neighborhood Applebee's for a well-deserved free meal. A selection of complimentary entrees will be available for these local heroes on this day as dine-in guests at all Applebee's restaurants throughout the U.S.
  • UNO Chicago Grill is also inviting all members of the military, both veterans and active duty, to enjoy a discount on their entire meal (approximately 19.43%) this Veterans Day. Veterans or active military can simply show up with a military or veteran's ID.
  • The American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes have teamed up for the fifth annual Holiday Mail for Heroes program. From now until Dec. 10, you are invited to send holiday cards to our American servicemembers, their families, and veterans all over the world. Anyone can send a card and you can send as many as you would like! Please send all cards to:

          Holiday Mail for Heroes
          P.O. Box 5456
          Capitol Heights, MD

  • Through December, the Portraits of Love Project is offering free portraits for families of deployed U.S. military personnel in over 250 locations across the country. Coordinated by the PMDA, a photography trade organization, the Portraits of Love Project is aiming to ship 10,000 free family portraits to deployed troops in time for the holidays. Visit the PMDA website for more details.
  • Support veterans year-round by volunteering or donating money to the Veterans Affairs Department. To find the right opportunity for you, fill out this form on the VA website.
  • According to the VA website, about 30% of the current adult homeless population has served in the Armed Forces. Help these homeless veterans by creating a food or clothing drive and coordinating with a local VA homeless program to get the items to these veterans in need.
  • Heinz Ketchup launched a campaign to make it easy for Americans to "pour" on their appreciation for those who have served our country. Ketchup lovers are encouraged to scan a quick response (QR) code on the back of 20 oz bottles with a smart phone to send a personalized thank you to veterans. For each "thank you" sent and each "like" on the Heinz Ketchup Facebook page, Heinz will donate 57 cents, up to $200,000 to Wounded Warrior Project. Together, the H.J. Heinz Company, L.P. and the Heinz Foundation will collectively donate more than $300,000 to Wounded Warrior Project this year alone.
  • Show your support with a yellow ribbon "Support Our Troops" Bumper Sticker. The Yellow Ribbon America organization requests a $1 donation for each bumper sticker. You can even decorate your fence or mailbox with your own yellow ribbon.
  • Alleviate some of the hardship that the families of military men and women often face by supporting organizations such as the Fisher House Foundation, which donates "comfort homes," built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes allow family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times - during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease or injury. You can donate money to help build more homes or you can even help build them yourself.
  • According to the Wounded Warrior Project, more than 30,000 troops have been wounded — many severely — in recent conflicts. Help these wounded veterans by donating to organizations that support these heroes. Soldiers' Angels is another well-known organization that supports returning wounded veterans.
  • - Under Armour has developed specially designed uniforms for the University of South Carolina, Texas Tech University, and University of South Florida to be featured at select NCAA football games in support of our nation's Armed Forces through their partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project. To learn more about how you can join the Believe in Heroes effort by purchasing fan gear for each of the teams, UA Freedom apparel or gift an Under Armour-WWP backpack to wounded service member, visit
  • 7- Eleven is saluting active, veteran and retired U.S. military personnel and their immediate families with free, small Slurpee® drinks between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Veterans Day. In addition, Operation: Thank You will enlist 7-Eleven customers to show their support for U.S. troops by adding a $1 donation to the USO when they check out at participating 7-Eleven stores. Donated funds will be earmarked by the USO for care packages sent to military troops serving overseas.
  • Leave a public voicemail of thanks for our vets. CanaryVoice, creators of "Voice Albums," launched the "Voices of Gratitude" campaign for Veterans Day, giving Americans a place to leave voicemails thanking veterans or any military personnel for their service. The greetings will be made available on the CanaryVoice site throughout the holidays in a first-of-its-kind voice greeting card for the troops. Visit the CanaryVoice website for more details.
  • Raytheon Company and Cisco announced a joint effort to both expand the Wounded Warrior Project's education initiatives and support the development of a new cybersecurity training program. The effort will include the expansion of current, multi-tiered information technology training programs with an added focus on developing new cybersecurity training opportunities. Combined, these programs will facilitate the ability of wounded servicemen and women to successfully re-enter the workplace with new skills for the IT and cybersecurity markets.


By Christie Garton, USA TODAY

Green Cove Springs Businesses