Supporting Our Veterans on Veterans Day and Throughout the Year

Written by: Cheryl Brown, National Chair, DAR Service for Veterans
November 10, 2017

On November 11, Americans will observe Veterans Day.  DAR members will join their friends and neighbors in parades, laying of wreaths and other ceremonies that honor individuals who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

Marking Veterans Day is a way to say thank you to former military members for their service and sacrifice.   This year there is a special reason to commemorate the day: to remember the four million U.S. soldiers, sailors and marines who served in World War I a century ago.  Many of these veterans have been forgotten.  Now is a good time to rediscover their patriotism and heroism.     

While Veterans Day is special, DAR members do not limit their expressions of gratitude for veterans to one day a year.  They honor veterans year-round, hosting recognition events and providing services for those in need.  In 2016, members volunteered over 420,000 hours and traveled over 1.2 million miles in performing veterans-related activities.  They oversaw almost 9,000 youth in performing 21,000 hours of veterans-related volunteer work.  Members also gave over $770,000 in monetary donations and $1,870,000 in gifts in kind to projects involving veterans.

The variety of activities undertaken by DAR members in support of veterans is impressive.  Members honor Vietnam War veterans and Gold Star families; donate warm winter coats and clothes for homeless veterans attending stand-downs; and give comfort items, handmade wheelchair totes and lap robes, and books to veterans housed in facilities.  They help purchase therapy and service dogs for wounded warriors, receive Honor Flights, participate in Wreaths Across America, and send postage stamps to the Veterans National Stamp Club.  They host parties for veterans, leading sing-alongs, running bingo games, and serving refreshments.  They support veterans events at local schools, contribute to the Friends of Veterans Fund, and provide baby shower gifts to women veterans.  Perhaps most importantly, they give of their time by visiting or writing veterans.

In recent months, chapters and state societies have enthusiastically embraced the DAR relief effort for veterans who were impacted by this year’s devastating hurricanes.  The need remains great.  If you would like to participate in this effort, please see information about it on the Members' Website.

The DAR sponsors three awards for individuals who provide exemplary services for veterans:  Outstanding Veteran Volunteer; Outstanding Youth Volunteer; and Outstanding DAR Service for Veterans Award.  Chapters nominate individuals for these awards, and State, Division and National winners are selected and honored.  In most states, nominations from chapters to their State Chair, DAR Service for Veterans Committee are due by December 15th.  If your chapter has not nominated individuals for the awards this year, there is still time to do so.  For details, see the DAR Service for Veterans Committee Webpage on the Members Website.

As you can see, there is a myriad of ways to recognize and assist veterans.  This November 11th please pause for a moment and ascertain how you can help make everyday Veterans Day.    

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