McKinstry supports an employee-led Veterans Alliance, which works to provide connection and opportunities for career development, collaboration and mentorship. Eight members of the community shared what Veterans Day means to them and ways we can serve our Veterans community this weekend and every day:
Veterans Day is one of the most meaningful days of the year for me. Although I retired from the military, it still gives me the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice that millions of troops are making EVERY day to weave that blanket of freedom that MANY of us take for granted, but ALL of us get to experience. There are many ways to help serve our Veterans with organizations having a variety of major focus areas. For example, some assemble and deliver care packages to troops overseas, some support homeless veterans by providing necessities for survival, and some focus on providing companionship to Veterans in retirement homes or hospice care facilities. An easy and fast way to get involved is simply Google search a Veteran focus area you would like to help in or reach out to me directly for ideas.
Veterans Day is a day of remembrance, introspection and respect for those that have gone before us and for our peers and ourselves. It is a day to remind ourselves that we are not alone in our struggles, but also our successes and there is always someone around that can understand, identify and provide an ear to listen if we would like to share. Just as we were while we served, we are never on our own in this life. Meaningful ways we can serve the Veteran Community on this day, and all other days, is to be present and available to provide fellowship and community to our fellow Veterans. We wouldn’t abandon another Soldier, Airmen, Marine, Sailor in need while we served, nor should we be any different now that we are Veterans. Veterans Day is a great day to come together and celebrate our service and the service of others, especially if it means a chance to meet new people in the process. There are no strangers. There are just amazing people we haven’t met yet.
My decision to join the military was influenced in no small part by the service and sacrifice of my grandfather, my stepfather, and others in my family that chose to wear the uniform of our nation. Veterans Day, along with Memorial Day, gives us an opportunity to acknowledge and support the brave men and women who served our nation when called. When asked what Veterans Day means to me, I think President Eisenhower said it best in his proclamation from October 12th, 1955: “On that day (November 11th) let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”
As an ally and the family member of multiple Veterans, I see this day as a day where others are thinking of my loved ones and all they have given in the same way I do often. I am incredibly proud of the Veterans in my life and the acknowledgment of them, and all Veteran’s service is a good reminder of the selflessness of our military members, during and after their service. We can serve our Veteran community by remembering that Veterans aren’t just Veterans one day a year, and it is valuable to everyone to remember the unique qualities a Veteran has and brings to our community more regularly – there are organizations a plenty of opportunities to support and contribute, and our Veteran community deserves to be remembered, supported and celebrated every day of the year.
Veterans Day holds deep significance for me, as I spent over a decade of my life in the Army. It is a day of reflection, sincere gratitude, and a profound sense of unity among Veterans. To me, Veterans Day represents more than just a moment to honor the sacrifices of our servicemen and women; it is an opportunity to wholeheartedly express our appreciation for their unwavering commitment and dedication to our nation. On this day, there are numerous meaningful ways for us to give back to our Veteran community, drawing from our shared experiences and bonds. This can include active participation in Veterans Day events and dedicating our time and effort to support one of the many Veteran organizations that tirelessly work to assist those who have served our country.
My generation of Veterans feel supported by our community — all I would ask is if you see an elderly man or woman who might be wearing a Vietnam era hat or jacket, thank them for their service as well.
As a recently retired Veteran I feel welcomed and supported by complete strangers when they learn of my status. We should strive to make all Veterans feel this way, not all of us came home to the same support and gratitude. When you happen across someone who is displaying their Veteran status on a hat or jacket, take 5 minutes to thank them and ask how they are doing. It’s such a simple thing to do and it will mean the world to those who came home to a less support or did not serve during a time of conflict. All Veterans made sacrifices and that should not go unacknowledged.
The (McKinstry) Alliance is important to me because our Veterans are so valuable! The sacrifices they make often go unappreciated. I have Veterans in my family and among friends who have made an impact on me. I feel that supporting and collaborating with our Veterans, we can touch so many areas of our community: mental health, homelessness, employment; the list goes on. Not just in November, but every day, we all need to realize the brave example our Veterans set and the risks they continue to endure in serving our great country. Thank you!