by Alexandria Braboy, AAPD Development Intern
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy
For some Americans, a holiday like Veterans Day can too easily come and go. But Veterans Day is not just another day off; it’s a day to honor an extraordinary group of Americans. Our veterans’ sacrifices are especially relevant today; since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of veterans returning from war with disabilities has increased by at least 25 percent[i]. As Veterans Day approaches, there will be plenty of opportunities to actively say thank you for American veterans’ sacrifices.
Volunteer with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. There are nationwide opportunities to volunteer for one of the VA programs, including the VA Homeless Veterans Program, VA National Cemetery Administration, Volunteer Transportation Network, and Welcome Home Celebrations.
Use the Paralyzed Veterans of America Wall of Heroes to create a personalized tribute to an honoree
Donate your Metro Fare Card to Fareshare, a DC-based organization that consolidates paper metro cards into Smartcards for homeless veterans seeking employment
Send a holiday card to a service member through the Red Cross/Pitney Bowes 5th Annual Holiday Mail for Heroes program
Find volunteer opportunities through Joining Forces, an initiative by the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden “to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they’ve earned”
Also check out AAPD’s list of resources for veterans with disabilities and their families.
[i] Number of Disabled Vets Up With Ira, Afghan Wars, Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/05/11/number-of-disabled-vets-u_n_101183.html