This Veterans Day, let us acknowledge and celebrate the incredible individuals who have served our country. As we express our gratitude, let's also reflect on what more we can do to make a lasting difference in their lives, not just today, but every day. For me, it begins with extending a helping hand. Instead of merely giving handouts, let us provide a hand-up. Instead of just saying thank you, let us say “You're Welcome”.
We want to ensure that veterans feel genuinely welcome. We want them to feel welcome to join in, grow, and find purpose. We also extend this welcome to their families, recognizing their sacrifices and inviting them to be part of the community. Moreover, we aim to create an environment where healing is possible, and where veterans can find the support and understanding they need to thrive.
While celebrating and expressing gratitude for our veterans is crucial, it is equally important to recognize the strength and resilience of the veteran community. Our veterans deserve to integrate into a society that accepts and supports them, a society that understands the unique challenges they face and the unique skills they offer. Let us ask ourselves what one helping hand can do and what actions we can take to embrace veterans and their families to strengthen the community.
As soldiers return home, they may face new challenges and opportunities. For many, this will be their first time fully immersing themselves in civilian life as an adult. They may be navigating many firsts, like pursuing higher education, starting a new career, building a family, and exploring their passions and dreams. They need our guidance, resources, inclusivity, and mentorship during this critical time. Above all, they need a place where they belong – a place that comprehends their sacrifices and rewards that sacrifice by providing hope. Countless veterans are facing homelessness, disabilities, and the daunting task of transitioning into civilian life. Our support is essential. Together, we can make a difference in their lives.
This Veterans Day, if you encounter a veteran, let us go beyond thanking them. Let us ask ourselves how we can play a part in creating a brighter future for them and their families. By extending a helping hand, offering support, and fostering a sense of belonging, we can make a real impact.
Let Veterans Day serve as a reminder that while veterans have fought for us, it is now our duty to fight for them. Their service has shaped our nation, and together, we can shape their future. If you see a veteran this Veterans Day, tell them, “Thank you for your service and welcome home.”
About the Author:
Ricky Derring retired from the US Army as a Sergeant First Class (SFC) Ranger and Green Beret serving over 14 years. He has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership with a focus in management, organizational development, and leadership development. Ricky has over 20 years of experience leading high-performing human resource and operations teams in the government, retail, healthcare and non-profit sectors. He is passionate about helping other veterans and military spouses find employment and live fulfilling lives.
Thank you Ricky for serving our country and continuing to serve our nation as a corporate leader and military advocate.