Monday, November 12, 2012

A Day To Remember - Veterans Day

Today is a day for recognizing of military veterans. Technically, of course, yesterday was Veterans Day – November 11th. Today, being a Monday, allows the holiday to be included in a three-day weekend and so some observances are moved to Monday from Sunday.

It’s good for us to remember the meaning of the holiday and to recognize the sacrifices that have been made by a few for the good of all. Veterans day, formerly known as Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day (or even Poppy Day), is an excellent opportunity to do that.
The courageous men and women and their families serving our country take time out of their lives to serve us and make sacrifices every day.
With parades and memorials at cemeteries and even the retiring of old flags, there are a lot of activities available for those interested in conducting observances of the day.

Community Business College tries to do its part to help veterans and current service members. The school participates in the “Thank You For Your Family’s Service” scholarship and the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA), to help eligible military-related students cover the costs of attending training and job placement assistance programs.

As part of its military friendly practices, Community Business College is also currently offering veterans and military-related job seekers a free “Job Search Tool Kit” which includes package a professional resume review, a job search guide, and a one-month world language class, where students can learn any one of 15 languages online.

Community Business College
Military Friendly School
For its efforts, the school, along with the 1,738 other colleges, universities and trade schools bade this year’s Military Friendly Schools’ list as determined by G.I. Jobs Magazine.

When remembering those who served and still serve today, we also mustn’t forget military families. Families are the rock upon which military members depend. It’s important to remember that families of military members sometimes have more difficult social challenges than even the military members themselves.

Military life can be very disruptive. Many people oftentimes overlook the sacrifices military spouses and their children make and the important role they play in the defense of our country.

Being a military kid often means you move from school to school in different parts of the world as you follow your military parent’s new station assignments.

It’s a sacrifice that most families are willing to make because the rewards of serving your country outweigh the downsides, but it’s an overlooked part of military life.

Ways to Observe Veterans Day

The first way to observe Veterans Day is to not forget what Veterans Day is really about. It’s not, as some stores may want us to think, a warm up for Black Friday shopping. It’s a holiday dedicated to honoring armed service veterans.

Some people like to make a family tradition of attending a memorial service or parade or sending a package to a member serving overseas. Some will read a different book written by a veteran each Veterans Day so as to remember those who didn’t make it home and those that did.

Fly the Flag
Veterans Day is a good day to put a flag up the flagpole. It's a classic gesture and one that still works. Seeing the U.S. flag waving in the breeze in the front of a home provides a constant reminder of the day and its importance.
Say “Thanks”

Despite a recent NBC article about some veterans and soldiers who feel awkward about being thanked, most active duty service members and veterans like to be thanked for their efforts. As long as the thanks are sincere and not too ostentatious, veterans and military service members accept the thanks courteously.

A good approach is to mention that you’re thanking the veteran and all those who served.

Send a Care Package

People who are currently serving overseas sometimes feel forgotten by the folks at home. Even with today's high-tech communications devices, the distances involved in deployments can bring a sense of isolation and loneliness. They enjoy receiving a care package of little items from the states. They also really enjoy receiving letters and notes.

When the school sends care packages to the troops, the responses are always warm and appreciative but the items that really stand out are the cards and letters.

The letters don’t have to be long but they should be personal. Describing yourself and where you live is a good start. Including a heartfelt word about why you’re writing is good and letting the recipients know you’re thinking about them is a good subject to include in the letter.

If you’re not sure where to send the care packages, you can use “Any Soldier.” Any Soldier is a military support group that receives specific requests from service members for items to be sent. The requrests are usually unit leaders on behalf of their squads who describe which items are missed from home the most or what items are in short supply (for example, baby wipes are popular where there’s lots of sand that needs to be cleaned out every day).
Visit the website for more details.

By the way, the Post Office will no longer deliver packages addressed litterally to “any soldier” so you should get the name and correct delivery address of your intnded recipient.

Another option is to visit your local chapter of Blue Star Moms. Blue Star Mom groups are support groups for people who have children in the military.

You can also ask local churches and other places of worship, who usually know of families who have someone serving overseas.

A big advantage to using an already established group is they can also tell you what is possible to send and what is not. When putting together items to send, you have to keep in mind not only postal regulations (which have gotten more restrictive over the years) but also to be sensitive to the rules of the respective host countries.

Support Military Families Stationed Overseas
Community Business College students and staff also send expired grocery coupons to overseas military families. The coupons don’t have to be expired but a lot of coupon cutters end up with leftovers they don't use and would otherwise just throw them away. Due to a special rule, military families overseas are allowed to use the coupons at base commissaries for up to 6 months after their printed expiration date. Sending a few over with a note of appreciation is a great way to brighten someone's day.

It’s through efforts like these that we can remember the fallen and those who gave up portions of their lives to serve their country.

Happy Veterans Day.

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