It’s a small thing to do for a large sacrifice that they made (and may still be making) for us. Please take time on this Veterans Day / Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) or on the Sunday before it (Nov 10) to say thank you to those who have served or are serving.
Some veterans are very humble about their service and don’t wish to be “outed” in any excessive way, but it is fair to say that all of them deserve and appreciate a brief thank you. Asking all veterans and current members of active or reserve military, plus immediate families of these individuals, to stand and be recognized together during a worship service might help to minimize any self-consciousness while recognizing that their families have sacrificed as well.
If your church or community includes individuals who have returned from service with visible or invisible wounds of war, this would be a good time to make a special effort to reach out to them with “a cup or cold water” gesture of God’s love. If there are families with an empty chair at the table because a member is currently serving, find a way to touch them in a special way, too. Be creative. Most likely any effort will be meaningful.
In a former generation many families were affected by members leaving to serve. Today less 1% serve to protect the freedom of the remaining 99%. The least we can do is say thank you while reaching out to those whose current needs are a product of current or past service to our country.
While you are at it, don’t forget to say a prayer for the military chaplains from our denomination (17 U.S. and 2 Canadian Forces) who address these needs on military bases and on the field of action, plus three others who serve in VA centers.