Monday, November 11 is Veterans Day—a day for honoring those who have served or are serving in the U.S. armed forces. In a previous blog post, we provided some tips for honoring veterans and military personnel year-round—such as offering discounts, “adopting” a military family, patronizing veteran-owned businesses, and hiring veterans, to name a few. However, Veterans Day—and in fact, the entire month of November—is a great time to offer a special ‘thank you’ to our military personnel for their service. Here’s how businesses of all types and sizes can do this:
Donate to a veterans’ organization.
Many veterans’ organizations assist wounded warriors, help service members and veterans who are experiencing financial difficulties and provide job counseling to individuals who have just left the military. These organizations—including, but not limited to, the Wounded Warrior Project, The PenFed Foundation, and Hiring Our Heroes—gratefully accept donations to help them achieve their mission no matter the time of year. However, a “thank you” donation made during the month of November, in honor of Veterans Day, maybe appreciated even more. This donation can come from the company or, in the case of a merchant, can be a percentage of sales on a certain day.
Have a veteran on staff or know of a customer who has served in the military? Make the donation in that individual’s name. For a complete list of reputable military and veterans service organizations, click here.
Shine the spotlight.
Businesses can use their social media page to feature the story of an employee or customer who is a veteran, including a message thanking them for their service. Signage posted around the office or in a window can also be used to spread the word. Just be certain to first get permission from the individual(s) concerned, and make sure they are comfortable with such attention.
Stage a celebration.
Honor any employees who are veterans by holding a breakfast or luncheon in their honor. Extra bonus: an afternoon off.
Take advantage of sponsorship opportunities.
Many communities hold a Veterans Day parade or have some other type of celebration, such as a ceremony, to honor local veterans. Becoming a sponsor of this type of event not only serves as a “thank-you” to these veterans; it also shows businesses’ support for their community and gives them added visibility.
Organize a thank-you note campaign.
Starting as soon as possible in the month of November—or earlier—distribute “thank-you” cards to customers and employees. Encourage these customers and staff members to write “thank-you for your service” notes to local veterans. Collect the notes and deliver them to a local Veterans Affairs Office, senior citizens center, nursing home, or anywhere else veterans may congregate or reside.
Fly the flag.
It doesn’t take much to thank veterans with this gesture, but it means a lot to them. One caveat to remember: Veterans Day is not considered a day of mourning—so fly the flag at full, rather than half, mast.
Thanking veterans for their service with a few spoken words on Veterans Day, which is a nice start—but it shouldn’t be the only thing businesses do to express their gratitude to former (and current) military personnel. We at E-Complish plan to go the extra mile—and we hope our partners do, too.