1. Freedom is not free. Never forget that.
2. Thank a veteran when you see one, not just on Veterans Day, but every day.
3. “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” – George Orwell
4. Don’t wear our flag as a toga or as a cape. Men and women have died for those colors. Treat them with respect.
5. You probably know someone who is currently deployed. Reach out to him or her. Tell them you miss them. Tell them to be safe. Ask if they need anything.
6. Pay for the meal of a serviceman. Don’t leave your contact information – you’re not the one who needs any recognition.
7. Help out the spouse of a deployed soldier. Bring over dinner. Volunteer to babysit. Ask how they’re doing. Listen.
8. You can speak your mind because people have died for you to do so. Choose your words wisely.
9. Give back. Fisher House Foundation, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are all very reputable charities that help both active duty and retired members of the armed forces.
10. “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.” – General George S. Patton
11. Support the troops when they get back. They may not be just like they were pre-deployment. Don’t expect them to be.
12. Little girls and boys are growing up without their daddies and mommies. Make this world something their fallen parents would be proud of.
13. Send a care package, or a letter, or even just a thank you card. Letters from home are very much appreciated.
14. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” – President Ronald Reagan
15. There are currently about 175,000 deployed U.S. soldiers. That’s 175,000 people who are missing birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries, births, first steps, last breaths, graduations, and little league games. Stop taking those things for granted.
16. Take a moment of silence for those who have fallen.
17. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is as real as any other illness. Be there for your soldier. Know when to seek help.
18. “The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.” –President George W. Bush
19. Take time out of your day to volunteer at an old soldiers’ home. Listen to their stories. Thank them for their service. Make a friend. Show your support.
20. Treat every day like it is Veterans Day. People are out there fighting for you. Don’t forget about them the other 364 days of the year.
21. Fly the flag high and with pride. Those colors don’t run.