When You Thank A Veteran: Some Advice from a Military Spouse

Fort Campbell, Ky (November 12, 2020) –Yesterday, November 11, 2020, the nation stopped what they were bickering about, discussing in depth, and dwelling on their fears to say “thank you” to a group of individuals who have fought and are fighting to give us the freedom to speak our minds and live as we chose. Aside from the standard get-together, paid holiday off, obligatory social media posts, and sales all over the country, there is an element of Veterans Day that many never put together.

When you thank a veteran, you aren’t just thanking them for going to war on your behalf or keeping your family safe. You are thanking them for spending many days a year, away from their families, in the middle of nowhere training to fight and defend.

When you thank a veteran, you are thanking them for more than just your freedom, you are thanking them for your ability to discuss your freedom, frustration, and fears openly without persecution.

When you thank a veteran, often you are thanking so much more than one person. Veterans, be they young or old, retired or active, are team players. They know a game isn’t won by one person and neither is liberty. You are thanking them for being accepting of individuals from all over the world who are citizens of this nation and choose to serve beside them. You are thanking them for putting aside any prejudices they may have and taking up arms next to other men and women who do the same.

When you thank a veteran,you say, “Thank you for your service.” What you really are saying is, “Thank you for choosing me every day even though we have never met before. Thank you for actively caring enough for strangers, that you miss important milestones and memories with the people you know and love the most.”

When you thank a veteran, you are acknowledging that person as someone who deserves to be honored, recognized, supported, and appreciated for what they do and have done. You are saying the lives lost every year to veteran suicide are not acceptable, and you value each and every one of the men and women who have served our nation. You are saying that you know they are owed more than just a “thank you.”

When you thank a veteran, you are not just thanking the soldier or retiree who stands before you, you are thanking generations of men and women who made the decision to be more, do more, and fight for what they believe in. You are thanking men and women of all walks of life. Individuals who walked away from their careers, family business, and academic plans to sit out in the pouring rain, cold and tired, training for conditions they have to prepare for “just in case”.

When you thank a veteran, you are seeing a man or woman who may have grown up in a place of pain, hardships, patterns of abuse and drug use, legal transgressions, and projected failures and yet they made the decision to stop the cycle and leave their past behind. You are thanking a warrior, wounded and scarred even if they have never stepped foot on an active battlefield, who took their life into their own hands and made something where they were told there was nothing.

When you thank a veteran, you are thanking the husbands, wives, children, parents, siblings, and friends who support that veteran. You are taking just a brief moment out of your life to be grateful that you do not have to live day in and day out unsure of what tomorrow holds for your soldier and family. You are thanking these families for giving their veteran the love they need to get up every day and walk out their door in the morning, not knowing if they will get to come home that night.

It has become practice to remind each other to, “thank a veteran” every Veterans Day. There is nothing wrong with this practice. It is one of the few things our country still unites to do each year. But… what if we took the time to say thank you every day? What if we made it a point to show our appreciation, support, awe, and gratefulness every time we met a veteran? In the same way we love our mothers the other 364 days of the year aside from Mother’s Day, what if we loved on our veterans like that?

Connected Nation is in the veteran-support business. We acknowledge the sacrifices our service members have made, and we are honored to work alongside them. Our Digital Works training program has a veteran-centered mission, located outside of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, working to provide assistance to these honorable men and women who are looking for employment after they take their leave of military life. 

After years, sometimes decades, of life as a soldier, many veterans find they are not sure what to do next. Digital Works is designed to provide modern technological training, job preparation, and job placement services to our students, affording them greater opportunities for employment. The training program is the ideal transitionary port for service members looking to reintegrate into civilian life and needing something flexible to adjust their lifestyle. 

Career opportunities span from entry-level customer service to Tier I & II technical support specialists, all within the remote work world that has become so vital during these changing times. These positions are also perfect gateways into Fortune 500 businesses all across the world who are dedicated to hiring veterans. 

Resume building and mock interviews are a far cry from extraction missions, but nevertheless, the Digital Works staff will fight for our veterans, doing their very best to prepare them for their lives off the battlefield while providing a community of support and guidance they can depend on.

To register and learn more about Connected Nation and the Digital Works program, visit digitalworksjobs.org. Sign-up under the “Fort Campbell- Kentucky” location and check your email for the directions on how to take the next steps with the program. 

If you are a veteran and you are looking to start moving forward again, give us a call. We are here to help you and we cannot wait to have you join us. Think of us as your new squadron. We have your six.

Thank you for your service, your mission, you sacrifice, and your commitment. You are valued.

About the Author: Jessica M. Golson is a military spouse the Digital Works Fort Campbell Facilitator. She is responsible for a wide range of training activities designed to teach, develop, improve, and maintain individuals’ necessary skill sets, place them in remote job positions, and also prepare them for jobs requiring greater skills.

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