Veterans Day is an opportunity to celebrate those who have sacrificed and served in our nation’s armed forces. Many of the wartime veterans that we encounter on a daily basis in our firm, our home, and our local community have served in ways we will never know. Each of these men and women went above the call of duty to sacrifice so that we can live safely in America.

What they gave to each of us through their military service does not end simply because they are no longer actively serving in the military. Each day we benefit from what they have done. We know that this is not just a gift we are given by veterans but also by their families who gave up time with their loved ones so that we might live in a safer world.

In our firm, we understand what it means to help wartime veterans. We enjoy assisting veterans with their estate planning and educating them and their loved ones about veterans benefits such as the much needed veterans pension, which can help pay the cost of long-term care.  We are committed to help those who have helped us. Our goal is that through our efforts as a firm we can say thank you for what our veterans have done for us.

This Veterans Day, we know you may be looking for ways to thank a veteran for his or her service. You do not have to be an attorney or a member of a law firm to help out! For those of you who are looking for ways to show your appreciation, let us share five ways that you and your loved ones can make an impact.

  1. Donate. Making a financial contribution to a charity that supports veterans is one of the best ways to show your support. There are plenty to choose from. Some organizations are dedicated to helping wounded warriors while others help needy veterans meet their financial obligations. There are some services, right here in our community, that provide job training and employment placement services. There is no shortage of veteran charities, but make sure to do your research before you make a financial contribution. Unfortunately, there are plenty of scams out there as well.
  1. Use a Veteran-Owned Business. Most veterans are hard-working and service-minded, and many have become outstanding entrepreneurs. Why not support an aspiring vet by shopping at his or her business, or including him or her on your company’s list of approved vendors? It could make a tremendous difference. Again, there are plenty of options to choose from. Of the estimated twenty-seven million small businesses in America, about nine percent are veteran-owned.
  1. Hire a Veteran or a Veteran’s Spouse. If you are currently in a management position at your company, or have the ability to bend the ear of your boss, consider prioritizing veterans as job candidates when hiring for an open position. The best person for the job, of course, should win the day, but consciously including qualified vets in your hiring process is a great way to give those who served a fighting chance to better themselves. You may find that they bring more to the table in the way of skills and experience than what is  typically offered in the labor market Supporting veterans also means supporting their families. A great way to do this is by hiring a veteran’s wife, husband or immediate family member.
  1. Enlist a Veteran Speaker. Giving back to those who served in uniform is not just about money and work, it can also be about providing opportunities for veterans to connect with others. A great way to help a veteran continue their mission to serve others is by asking them to speak at schools, businesses and other venues, like Boy Scouts and senior centers.
  1. Simply Say Thank You. You more than likely know someone in your circle of family, friends, or colleagues who is veteran. Call them or send them a card to tell them how thankful you are for their service. and may spark a nice conversation.  Showing an interest is a sign of compassion as well as respect. That’s why your effort to show your appreciation will \ go a long way. Who knows, you might find that it also sparks more conversation where you learn something new about them and become even better connected.

These are just a few of the ways we have seen make an impact with veterans to date. What have you seen in our community? What would you recommend as a way to say “thank you” this Veterans Day? We look forward to you sharing your ideas.

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Kevin Snyder is a husband, father, and an Orange County estate planning attorney and elder law attorney at Snyder Law, PC in Irvine, California. He is all about family and is passionate about educating his community about trust and estate planning, veterans issues, and how to protect what matters most.

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