Memorial Day is a time for remembering and honoring those in this nation's armed forces who have died defending and serving this country. This federal holiday has also become widely known as a time for sharing special moments with beloved family members and friends. But this year, before the bbqs and bonfires at the cabin during the three day long weekend, I encourage us all to find at least one way to honor and support our troops, especially those who have fallen serving our country. Here are some ways to support and cherish those we have lost this Memorial Day, along with those who continue to fight for our freedom.
1. Donate to the Memorial Day Foundation
The Memorial Day Foundation was established to increase awareness about this federal holiday and ensure that we never forget those Americans who have died protecting us and serving our country. You can donate to their honorable cause or even sponsor flower bouquets that will be placed at the NYC war memorials on Memorial Day.
2. Donate to the Wounded Warrior Project
The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is dedicated to helping over one hundred thousand injured warriors, soldiers, caregivers, and even family members. Wounded veterans need our help, and making a one-time or monthly donation goes a lot further than you'd think. WWP provides wounded warriors with free programs and services that help them physically and mentally, support for family members, and much more.
3. Run and Remember Those Who Served Us
There are several marathons happening all throughout the country on or around Memorial Day weekend. These runs benefit the armed forces in some way whether it be through local charities or well known nationwide programs. Perhaps one of these Memorial Day runs are near you, and if so, register today to join in the celebration of freedom that our fallen soldiers fought for, and continue to fight for, each and every day.
4. Get Involved with Homes For Our Troops
Homes For Our Troops is a nonprofit organization that donates and builds specially adapted homes all over the country for injured veterans post 9/11. These homes are built to help these veterans and their families rebuild their lives and more easily adjust to their new normal so that they can focus on recovery, time with family, and regaining independence. You can support their mission in many ways, like becoming a building partner, donating, or volunteering at an event just to name a few helpful ways.
5. Keep it Local: Visit A Cemetery or Memorial Site
Let us not forget all the men and women who gave their lives for us. What better way to honor and remember these special people by visiting their grave site with flowers, flags, or other memorabilia? This Memorial Day, visit a local veteran cemetery or memorial site and bring flowers and decorations for the graves, and invite your friends and family to tag along, bringing items as well. Perhaps you could prepare a patriotic flower bouquet full of vibrant red, white, and blue blooming flowers to place there!
6. Create a Care Package
This care package could be for our troops overseas currently fighting for us or for a wounded veteran who could use a pick-me-up! Care packages are sure to bring soldiers a smile, and perhaps a little laughter as well. Popular, helpful items that could be included in a care package for soldiers are things like mouth wash, deodorant, sunscreen, movies, cookies, gum, cards, and more. Support Our Troops has a lot more information about what we should send to our troops, where to ship care packages, and more.
7. Reach Out to Those Grieving
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is here to offer assistance, support, and compassionate care for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one who served in this nation's armed forces and died doing so. They provide 24/7 care and hope through multiple resources such as their toll-free military survivor helpline available 24/7, their grief counseling, their retreats and healing programs, and SO much more. TAPS is a wonderful resource for those hurting and healing, especially during Memorial Day weekend as we remember these loved ones.