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Veterans Day is right around the corner. Want to do something awesome for a veteran in your life? We’re collecting the best posts, tweets, photos and videos tagged with #MyVeteran at www.militarytimes.com/myveteran now until Nov. 30.
Just be sure to tweak your privacy settings so we can actually see them or post directly to our Facebook pages.
Aren’t quite sure what to do? Keep reading.
Unlike Memorial Day, which is intended as a somber day of national reflection on those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the country, Veterans Day is supposed to be more of a party. After all, the day finds its roots in the riotous celebration that came with end of the war that was supposed to end all wars. The 11th hour of the 11th day of 11th month in 1918 was when the world rejoiced at the official end of World War I.
In the years since, Nov. 11 has become a celebration of everyone who has worn the uniform, both past and present in both war and peace.
So how can you celebrate the veterans in your life?
Whether you’re a veteran yourself looking to honor the service of a family member, a spouse searching for a special way to spotlight that most special veteran or a civilian who wants to offer a meaningful thank you to a friend in the military, here are some ideas to help you get started.
Keep it simple
Compose a tweet, or an Instagram or Facebook post, that includes a favorite photo of your veteran and a brief message like this tweet from Jacob Messing (@JMess98): “RIP to #MyVeteran. He was drafted to the Navy even though he was afraid to swim. RIP William Douglas York.”
Put together a video tribute
Have a few friends and family members send you short video messages about why they love and appreciate your veteran. Ask them to tell a quick story or share why they appreciate the veteran’s service. Then using your favorite video editor (Microsoft’s Movie Maker is free and easy to use) collect them into one video to show on Veterans Day and post online with #MyVeteran in the title. An easier option: You can use Instagram for videos now, but you’ll have to squeeze your tribute down to 15 seconds.
Organize a virtual flash mob
Secretly coordinate with friends and family to blitz your veteran with tweets, Instagrams, Facebook posts, emails, voicemails — anything and everything — but all hitting at exactly the same time on the same day. And be sure to remind everyone to use the #MyVeteran tag.
Throw an actual party
Nothing says celebration like a party. For a memorable Veterans Day bash, think surprise birthday party meets Fourth of July. Hang flags and deck the halls with red, white and blue streamers and balloons and other decorations that celebrate their service. Capture the action on Instagram or YouTube and post it using #MyVeteran.
Get them featured in Military Times
Already got a great way to celebrate your veteran? We’ll make it even better by featuring your tribute in Military Times print editions. To be considered you’ll need to post by Nov. 4. Editors’ picks will appear in a special #MyVeteran spread, which hits the street on Veterans Day. (Hint: A compelling photo of good resolution could raise your odds of seeing your message in print.)