1% of Americans serve in our military. Don’t just go to the mall this Holiday Season. Please be part of the 99% of Americans who actively give something back. Twenty Ways to Support & Thank Veterans & Military Families 1. Display the American flag. 2. Help wounded warriors through the Wounded Warrior Believe In Heroes” campaign (www.wounderwarriorproject.org). 3. Say “thank you for your service” to people you know are veterans or soldiers. 4. Check out the links at www.militaryconnection.com 5. If you’re not sure if someone is a vet, risk asking them: “Are you a veteran, ma’am/sir?” and then thanking them if they say yes. Keep in mind that some vets do not want to make a big deal about their service, to be called a “hero” or to talk at length to someone they don’t know. 6. Use social media such as Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter to express your thanks or patriotism. 7. Use social media to ask vets in your life what they need; then take steps to meet those needs. 8. Visit a local veterans’ cemetery, Arlington National Cemetery, or a Veterans’ Memorial site. 9. Visit or donate to a veterans’ museum. The U.S. has a wide array of museums devoted to different populations (Special Ops/Women/Vietnam). Use a search engine to find them. 10. If you’re a season ticket holder/sports fan, donate tickets to local recruiting offices to be distributed between vets & active soldiers (to find them, pick a search engine & enter your city name, one of the Armed forces branches (ex: Army), & “recruiting office”). 11. If you love music/play music, support what other musicians are doing for our troops by joining or donating to the USO (www.uso.org). Also check out (www.ltdanband.com), (www.cammomusic.org), and (www.4troopsmusic.com) and consider becoming an active supporter of bringing hope and support into the lives of soldiers through music. 12. If you’re an artist, support the Graffiti of War Project (www.graffitiofwar.com) and the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum in Chicago (www.nvvam.org). 13. If you’re a writer or want to support veterans who are sharing their stories online, read some military blogs (www.milblogging.com) and/or some poetry by veterans (www.iwvpa.net). 14. Follow and/or “Like” the Veterans Writing Project on Facebook & give them money. 15. Help veterans have their stories and service permanently honored and recorded in the Library of Congress through the Veterans History Project (www.loc.gov/vets). 16. You can also donate goods or money to groups who are sending care packages to our active duty service members who are currently deployed abroad (http://www.soldiersangels.org, www.operationpinecone.org, http://anysoldier.com). 17. Donate blood for injured troops (http://www.militaryblood.dod.mil/default.aspx) and support disabled vets (www.qolfoundation.org), (www.independencefund.org) & (www.ambucs.org) 18. To help wounded warriors, support the Iraq Star Foundation (http://iraqstar.org/). 19. Help vets find a job – add job openings & opportunities at: (www.hirepatriots.com), (www.militarycivilian.com), (www.milicruit.com) or (www.militaryconnection.com). 20. Please pass these suggestions along. Also, please consider supporting these projects, organizations, & veterans after the holidays have ended. Thank you.