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Honor Our Troops

Updated on November 11, 2013

5 Great Ways to Honor Active Duty Military and Veterans

I've accumulated some easy ideas to help you personally honor one of our heroes once they have served our country in the military. Active duty military and America's Veterans should be recognized and honored for taking time out of their civilian life to serve this country. Whether they served in leadership, on the front line, or as support of the troops each one played a role in make America the great nation it has become.

Yes, we have struggles daily as a nation and the USA is in transformation constantly, but our military is one segment of the nation that participates in holding it together. US troops represent our nation in many countries across the world. They become familiar with their surroundings when they are embedded in a situation war or peacetime, and come home to many changing situations in the USA. Some never leave our country but are called to do whatever it takes to support the men and women who do. They all deserve our kudos.

The best idea yet, my sister and her husband came up with a while back ago. Of all the ideas which include personally greeting them on return, specialized gifts for them as they serve, and honoring them as the years roll by, including memorials and specific holidays, this presentation she did for our Dad last month tops them all.

My husband, in this photo, served in Korea on the DMZ during the Vietnam War. 1969-1970. He;s my hero!

5. Greet Returning Heroes at the Airport

Organize a welcome home party.

Don't be overwhelming beyond greeting, but be there with banners, balloons, signs, small tokens when shaking hands, prepared to cry and hug a lot. Support the family and make sure they are okay with all your ideas for celebrating the return of a spouse, child or sibling.

The Dallas Fort Worth Airport has arranged Welcome Home events for over 7 years.

4. If He or She is a Motorcycle Rider, - Sign Them up for Run For The Wall!

A motorcycle ride across America in May.

Greeted by communities all across America as they arrive, fed many free meals in the evenings, some lunches and breakfasts. Camping available. Visit several memorials along the way. Run For The Wall has been called many things, from a rolling parade to a band of riding brothers, but my favorite is THE LONGEST WELCOME HOME RIDE!

3. Provide a Vacation Trip - Active Duty and Veterans Need Vacation

Whether he or she is active duty and home on a leave, just returned from the tour of duty, or have been out of the military and integrated back into a daily routine, our heroes need a vacation. If there is a large city near you, book a room that includes activity for the children if they are still young. Include extended family in the trip (they pay their own expenses) but surprise them with a family reunion and a room to themselves with their spouse...

Send the hero to a nearby State park or a National landmark to renew a love for the country they fought for, as a reminder of your appreciation.

A trip away from the thoughts and daily routine is always welcomed.

2. Honor Your Hero with a Trip to D.C. - Memorials Provide Healing

A trip to our Nation's Capital would give the troops and veterans an opportunity to experience the gratefulness of a nation.

I met a WW II Veteran this summer who was participating in the Honor Flight program. His son was his escort. I was at the Lincoln Memorial on Veterans Day Weekend to hand out camouflage bandannas (with scripture) to anyone obviously military. When I saw this gentleman I handed him the gift, thanked him for serving our country during the war and took about 30 minutes to listen to him and his son talk about life since the war, and his specific story as a liberator of a concentration camp and at another location he was going into battle in the Pacific, knowing he would not return, just as the war was declared over. He was a remarkable man.

Honor Flight Network

And # 1: The Highest Honor - Have a Flag Flown in Their Behalf

Each day several flags are raised over the U.S. Capital Building in honor of a hero. Here is the process:

1. Contact a Senator or Representative from your state.

2. Submit the request form, usually an online process. Designating hero's name, the DATE you'd like to fly the flag and

3. Purchase a Flag.

4. Present Flag in a private ceremony when you receive it.

5. Receive a Certificate of Authentication along with the flag you purchased with the name of your hero and date.

This is my Dad's Flag. It was flown November 27, 2012 - 70 years to the day after he joined the Army during World War II. He is 88 years old and still very proud to have served his country in that fashion. He served in Europe.

Flag Flying over the US Capital - And a Video of Flags Flying around the US Capital

I'm a patriotic person. I happen to love our country's flag. I hope you'll give this some thought. What role should the American Flag, "Old Glory," have in our day to day activities. How much respect should we pay to our flag? What has changed since you were young?

I'm thinking that the 2nd generation away from WW II may not have the passion for the flag that the baby boomer generation had, as they were born out of war. I don't know that the same emphasis is placed on it's significance now over 60 years after the beginning of World War II.

I was in elementary school when two stars were added to our flag. When our school received the new flag with not 48 but 50 stars on it representing our two new states Hawaii and Alaska, the school had a special ceremony around the flag pole, lowered the old flag, presented it to the principal to be displayed in the trophy case, and raised the new flag in all it's glory. I was in 2nd grade and I stood and cried, I was so moved, and proud to be an American.

A personalized certificate along with the flag is sent to the Veteran in his/her honor after being flown over the US Capital on any given day.

Such a beautiful sight to see personally, the video doesn't do it justice.

Fly an American Flag in honor of a Veteran at the US Capital.

American Flags to Honor Veterans - You can fly a flag that says, "We appreciate your service to our country."

When I see a flag flying in the wind, I know whoever went to that effort appreciates our country. it says so many things. It makes the statement, I'm a patriot. I believe in this nation.

Be Creative

Do something special for that active duty soldier or veteran. Let him or her know they are special to you and to our country.

Let me know what honored you when you served, - or what you've done for a soldier in the past.

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