The month of May is dedicated to thanking our military families. It’s an opportunity to acknowledge both military spouses serving on the home front and our military members who sacrifice so much for our American family.
One of the questions I’ve heard the most from civilians is how to show appreciation for those who serve. Many families simply want to say thank you or even do something to show their gratitude for military families, but aren’t sure where to start.
Here are some easy ideas and ways to say ‘thank you’ to our military members and families.
Pay it Forward
Small gestures of appreciation can be accomplished a number of ways. If you see someone who looks like they are in the military, or possibly a military spouse whose husband is deployed, and have a little change left in your pocket — here’s some situations to pick up the tab.
- If you’re in the drive-thru and spot a military member, pay for their meal behind you.
- If you’re at the dry cleaners and notice someone picking a uniform, pick up the check.
- If you’re at a restaurant, pay for their meal or send them a bottle of wine, buy them a beer, or send a dessert.
Oftentimes these small gestures mean everything to military families. It’s also an easy way to thank them quickly or anonymously without it turning into an awkward situation.
Saying Thank You
Our troops serve with pride, many of whom feel called to defend our great nation. Military members and families don’t want you to feel sorry that they are sacrificing to serve, so a quick ‘thanks for your service’ goes a long way. Uplift and encouraging military members means so much.
Give Back to Families
If you live near a military community, consider working with the base or post to let families know your church or organization is there. Many programs reach families when their spouses are deployed. You can offer to:
- Paint a few rooms in the house, or help prime a room before the family moves out.
- Offer to help hang Christmas lights.
- Help with mowing or landscaping tasks.
- Offer ‘Parent’s night outs’ so mom and dad can take advantage of a date night.
- Host baby showers with new or donated baby items
Provide Military Discounts
If you own a local business, or work at a place that offers military discounts, advertise it with pride. Providing financial discounts to our veterans and military families goes a long way in saying thank you.