At any given time, there are around 1.5 million active servicemembers in the United States army. These brave men and women are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our nation’s core values: life, liberty, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. Citizens often take their freedom for granted, but you can show your support to the millions of current and former servicemembers in some simple ways, some of which we’re going to discuss here.
One of the easiest ways to show your support to servicemembers is to tell them “thanks.” If you see a soldier walking down the street in uniform, let him or her know that you appreciate their hard work and they’ve sacrificed. Any seasoned soldier will agree: these verbal “thank you’s” go a long way in boosting morale while giving them the drive and determination to continue serving this great nation.
Give Up Your Seat
Whether you are riding on the bus, train or a commercial airliner, you can show your support to servicemembers by offering them your seat. Academy Award-nominated actress Amy Adams did just that back in 2014, giving up her first-class seat to a servicemember. “I didn’t do it for attention for myself,” revealed Adams. “I did it for attention for the troops.”
Offer Discounts to Servicemembers
If you own and/or manage a business, consider offering special discounts to servicemembers and veterans. Many businesses already offer discounts and perks such as this to servicemembers, ranging from free cups of coffee to 10% off discounts. Granted, it’s not much — and it pales in comparison to the sacrifices they’ve made — but it still shows the men and women who serve that they are appreciated.
If you really want to go the extra mile to show your support, try volunteering at a local USO branch. USO volunteers may help to set up special events, cheer troops during their homecoming, manage the front desk, or just listen to what servicemembers have to say. Even if you are unable to volunteer, you can still offer your support by making a donation to the USO or a similar nonprofit organization that’s intended to support the troops.
To learn more about USO volunteering opportunities, visit http://usovolunteer.org.
These are just a few of the many ways that you can show support for our troops. Feel free to come up with other ways to express your gratitude for everything they’ve sacrificed. And remember, a simple “thank you” goes a long way.