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Have you thanked a veteran today? Although 2020 is a different kind of year, here’s our guide to celebrating and giving back to our nation’s proud veterans.

November 11th is Veterans Day. This day is set aside to celebrate and thank our nation’s veterans for their dedication to our country.

Members of a Joint Color Guard in Guam commemorate Veterans Day in 2019

Rooted in Armistice Day, November 11, 1918 signified the ending of the first World War: it’s a day dedicated to the cause of world peace, the cessation of conflict, and the brave troops who were responsible for achieving those victories. 

WWI troops celebrate the end of the Great War

Following the Second World War, Armistice Day was changed to simply Veterans Day, signifying support and awareness for all of our nation’s veterans. As a salute to all of our veterans around the world, here is our guide to celebrating and giving back to our proud heroes.

Thank Your Local Veterans by Volunteering at a VA Hospital

Lend a Helping Hand (your service is always appreciated year-round)

The ongoing effort for veteran’s awareness and support doesn’t end on Veterans Day. Do you really want to make a difference for a current member of the military family? Here’s an easy and fulfilling way to get involved at your local VA. 

Even amid a global pandemic, VA volunteers are still providing essential support and services to our nation’s veterans. And they could use your help more than ever. Visit the VA Volunteer site to get started.

You can be one of over 61,000 volunteers who give their time each and every year to perform essential duties and provide hope for our veterans in need.

Volunteer with Guitars for Vets at your Local VA

Guitars for Vets brings the healing power of music to our nation’s veterans struggling with injury and PTSD.

Do you have any extra music equipment that could support a veteran? Or are you good at playing guitar, and interested in leading online training sessions with veterans? Here’s your chance to be a rockstar for our veterans. Sign up to volunteer here.

Want a Summer throwback? Check out our HOMEGROWN episode featuring Lzzy Hale in support of Guitars for Vets. Read more in our blog.

Get Engaged With a Virtual Veterans Day Parade

New York Virtual Veterans Day Parade

Date: November 11, 12:00 PM EST

Great news! The NYC Veterans Day parade is still on, albeit virtually. The NYC Veterans Day Salute will be streamed live at nycvetsday.org! This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2, so don’t miss out on one of the nation’s largest salutes to service.

The parade will still feature over 120 vehicles along the traditional 5th Avenue parade route, as well as a motorcycle ride. Special guests include Medal of Honor Recipient Paul Bucha (Vietnam), NASA Astronaut and Navy Veteran Sunita Williams, the West Point Band, and more!

Wounded Warrior Project Veterans Day Event

Date: November 11, 11:30 AM EST

Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) will host Honoring Our Warriors, a virtual Veterans Day event taking place on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 11:30 AM EST on WWP’s Facebook and YouTube pages. The event will be hosted by ESPN Commentator Jesse Palmer, with a performance from musical guest Sara Evans.

National Veterans Day Observance

Date: November 11, 11:00 AM EST

The annual National Veterans Day Observance will take place on Nov. 11 at Arlington National Ceremony at 11:00 AM EST. Follow the live stream on the VA Facebook page.

Sweat like a War Hero by Joining in on a Fitness Challenge

Join Team Red White and Blue for a Veterans Day #WOD4warriors Workout

Date: November 11, 11:00 AM EST

Every Veterans Day, hundreds of veterans and veteran supporters across the world participate in #WOD4warriors, a functional fitness workout which celebrates the men and women who have served our country.

The best news? You can participate in the event from anywhere, and cool event t-shirts are available for those who donate. Registration for the event can be found here. Proceeds from this event will support the veteran outreach efforts of Team RWB.

Join the National Veterans Memorial and Museum for a Virtual 5k and WOD Fitness Challenge

Date: November 1-22, 2020

The National Veterans Memorial and Museums Virtual 5K and Heroes Honor Challenge is an event that honors all of our hometown military heroes, past and present, who defend our nation.

Participants in the event will receive a race bib, a finisher medal, and a long sleeve t-shirt listing the names of a veteran or active service member you wish to honor.

If you want to join in on the fun, you can complete your chosen distance or challenge anytime, anywhere between November 1-22, 2020. Sign up for this year’s event can be found here.

Join the Apple Watch November Fitness Challenge for Veterans

Date: November 11, 2020

Do you have an Apple Watch, and want an easy way to get into the spirit of Veterans Day? In order to complete the challenge, all you have to do is work out for 11 minutes or more on November 11th. 

Participants in the Apple Watch Veterans Day challenge will receive a series of digital stickers, including this one.

Explore the Rich Military Legacy Contained in Library of Congress Veterans History Project Database

Veterans History Project 20th Anniversary Celebration

Date: November 6 – 14, 2020 

“Because their stories are OUR stories” 

Tune in for the 20th Anniversary of the Veterans History Project, with a series of engaging panel discussions and musical performances in honor of our nation’s veterans.

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, digitizes, and archives the memories and legacies of our nation’s veterans. Information collected by the library includes video interviews, photographs, service locations, ranks attained, and more.

Do you have friends or family members who served? Explore the Veteran’s History Project database.

Connect with your Local Veterans Organizations and Thank A Veteran Today

Through patriotic activism and community outreach, veterans groups are critical in ensuring the care of veterans and their families following military service. While veterans groups’ main focus is to provide community service and support, it is equally important that they function as social clubs to maintain camaraderie and friendship among our brave veterans.

Retired Tuskegee Airman, Col. Charles McGee, celebrated his 100th birthday in 2019 at Dover AFB, Delaware. He flew 409 combat missions in WW2, the Korean War, and Vietnam.

Check out our guide to all kinds of different kinds of veterans organizations that could use your help and support, not just on Veterans Day, but year-round.

We salute all veterans service organizations who have fought to improve the lives of our honored veterans.

Thank you for your service.

Armed Forces Entertainment

Happy Veterans Day. Do you have a military family memory to share with the world? Reach out to @ArmedForcesEnt on Twitter with your favorite photos and memories. We’d love to see them.

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