Military veterans have so many benefits even after leaving the service and Thanksgiving is no exception. During the holiday season there are special events that include veterans and not just active duty, family members and government employees.
Military Base Thanksgiving– On Thanksgiving Day all branches of the military prepare an incredible feast on base. It’s not free, however it is usually very inexpensive compared to dining off base in a restaurant and if you have no family or friends to celebrate with it’s the perfect place to feel at home. Veterans can also sign guests in to enjoy the meal with them. According to recent military regulations, Thanksgiving is considered a “special meal” and open to retired military personnel/veterans when a dining facility does not exceed 100 percent utilization rate. This is up to the installation commander to authorize this benefit in the form of morale improvement, good community relations and facility efficiency. Check with your local military base to see what they have planned for Thanksgiving.
Local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion (AL) Posts – Every year most of these posts prepare Thanksgiving meals for free. You need a valid membership or can be signed in as a guest of another veteran. This provides an excellent opportunity to socialize with fellow veterans in the community. Also, Bingo is often played after the meal for entertainment! Contact your local VFW or American Legion for their specific event, volunteer assistance needed, meal price and/or food donations needed. The camaraderie alone can boost anyone’s spirits during the Thanksgiving holiday. These also accept donations from the general population in support of these events.
Other Veterans Service Organizations – There are many veterans service organizations both nationally and locally. You can find an accredited VSO list here but there are many great organizations, especially local, that provide services to veterans as well. A quick Google of Veterans organizations plus your city name should get you there.
You Can Assist a Veteran on Thanksgiving Too!
Veterans who have given a portion of their life to military service to uphold the freedoms and benefits of the United States of America (USA) can be very thankful that they served. If you know a veteran who will be alone on this Thanksgiving Day, invite them to join you, family and friends to celebrate or accompany them to a nice Thanksgiving meal. Most important thing to remember is that somewhere in all communities, states, clubs or other social groups, there is a Thanksgiving meal waiting to be shared with a veteran.
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