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Service with a Smile

The purpose of Memorial Day is often overshadowed as the holiday has transitioned into the official kickoff of summer. Of course, most take time to post a thankful sentiment online or use the day to remember family members who have passed, but why not do something a little different this year?

Talk to the Men and Women who have served and continue to protect our great nation about what Memorial Day means to them. You can set it up with your kids and practice physical distancing by scheduling your call on FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or any other audio call app. 

If you don’t have someone in your family, we’d be willing to bet that there are several service members in your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram feeds. You can also reach out to local Veterans organizations to find out about volunteering opportunities.  

Put together Interview style questions to kick off the conversation:

  • Why did you join?
  • What was your job?
  • How long did you serve? 
  • What countries were you in? 
  • What’s your favorite memory? 
  • If they’re retired or have finished their duty….what was it like when you got out? 

A few starter questions will be all you need to get the conversation rolling and before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful story that will help add some perspective this Memorial Day. 

After your chat, talk to the kids about what they learned.

  • What were their takeaways and impressions?
  • For older kids, talk about the idea of service to your country and what that means.
  • Encourage them to write their thoughts down while they’re fresh. They can draw a picture, write a few words of thanks and make a card to let the service person know how much they appreciated their time.
  • Make interviews like this a tradition and plan to do it for every patriotic/veteran’s holiday.
  • Find ways that you can help support our troops and those who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country by sending cards, treats and supplies to those who are stationed overseas.
  • Contact your local Veteran’s associations and see what volunteer options there may be. 

We all do our best to recognize the service that others have given to our country. But this year, let’s all take just one extra step to understand what it’s like and show a member of our Armed Forces how much we appreciate them.

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