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How to Thank a Veteran for Their Service? – 3 Meaningful Ways

Written by Everett Bledsoe / Fact checked by Brain Bartell

how to thank a veteran for their service

Thanking veterans for their service is a powerful way to show appreciation for their sacrifice and dedication to our country. While a simple “Thank you” can go a long way, there are various meaningful ways to express gratitude to veterans.

In this blog post on “How to thank a veteran for their service,” we will explore different ways to thank veterans, including verbal expressions, acts of gratitude, and other heartfelt gestures.

Meaningful Ways to Thank Veterans


1. Verbal expressions of gratitude


Simply saying “Thank you for your service,” can have a profound impact on a veteran. It acknowledges their sacrifices and shows genuine appreciation for their dedication.

Be sure to use specific words to thank someone for their service, such as “Thank you for serving our country”, “We are grateful for your sacrifice and bravery to protect our freedom,” or “Thank you for putting your life on hold to serve the country. You really are a hero.”

As with thanking soldiers or service members in military, it is also a good idea to express your gratitude in person when thanking veterans. It adds a personal touch and allows for a meaningful connection.

2. Acts of expressions of gratitude


  • Write Thank-You Notes: Another way to say thank you is to write personalized notes expressing your gratitude. You can send these to veterans’ organizations, hospitals, or local military bases.Include military appreciation quotes and specific reasons for your appreciation, and let them know how their service has positively impacted your life or the community.

Here is a thank you letter to a veteran example: ​​

  • Attend Veterans Day Events: Participate in local Veterans Day events, parades, or memorial ceremonies that pay tribute to veterans in your community. These events often provide an opportunity to meet and interact with veterans personally.

If possible, volunteer at such events so you can play a more active part in showing your gratitude to veterans.

  • Share Their Stories: Veterans have unique experiences and stories to tell. Take the time to listen to their accounts and share their stories with others. This can help raise awareness about their sacrifices and create a deeper understanding of the challenges they face.
  • Support Veteran-Owned Businesses: Look for businesses owned by veterans and make an effort to support them. Whether it’s purchasing products or using their services, your patronage can directly benefit veterans and their entrepreneurial ventures.

Remember, acts of gratitude should come from a genuine place of appreciation. By taking the time to acknowledge and honor veterans, you can make a positive difference in their lives and show them that their service is deeply valued.

3. Other ways to show appreciation to veterans


  • Honor Fallen Soldiers: Visit local cemeteries, memorials, or military gravesites to pay respects to fallen soldiers. Leave thank you messages for soldiers, flowers, flags, or other tokens of remembrance to honor their service and sacrifice.
  • Organize Care Packages: Create care packages filled with essential items, snacks, letters of appreciation, and comfort items to send to deployed service members. Coordinate with local organizations or military support groups to ensure these packages reach those in need.
  • Offer Transportation Assistance: Many veterans may face challenges with transportation to medical appointments or other essential services. Volunteer to provide rides or assist in arranging transportation for veterans in need.
  • Advocate For Veteran Benefits: Stay informed about legislation and policies related to veteran benefits. Support organizations that advocate for improved benefits and healthcare services for veterans. Write to your elected officials to express your support for veteran-friendly policies.
  • Offer Professional Services: If you have professional skills that can benefit veterans, consider providing your services pro bono or at a discounted rate.

For example, if you are a lawyer, you can offer legal assistance or advice to veterans who may need it.

Why It is Important to Thank Veterans


  • Recognizing The Sacrifices Made By Veterans

Veterans have put their lives on the line to serve our country and protect our freedoms. They have made immense sacrifices that most of us can only imagine. It is essential to acknowledge these sacrifices and the courage it takes to make them.

  • Showing Gratitude For Their Service

Thanking veterans for their service is a small gesture that can have a big impact on their well-being. It shows them that their service is appreciated, and it provides them with a sense of pride and purpose. It also helps to bring attention to the sacrifices that veterans have made.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Thanking a Veteran


When expressing gratitude towards a veteran, it is important to avoid common missteps that can cause offense or discomfort. Here are three common mistakes to steer clear of:

  • Assuming All Veterans Have Seen Combat: Not all service members have seen combat, and it is crucial to avoid making assumptions about a veteran’s experience. Avoid using language that suggests all veterans have endured trauma or suffered in the same way.
  • Asking Invasive Questions About Their Service: While some veterans may feel comfortable discussing their service, others may not. It is critical to avoid asking intrusive questions about their experiences, injuries, or any trauma they may have faced.
  • Using Clichéd Phrases Or Language: When thanking a veteran for their service, using trite or overused expressions, like Veterans Day wishes, may come across as insincere. Instead, try to personalize your message and speak from the heart.

Frequently Asked Questions


Should I only thank veterans on Veterans Day?

No, you can thank veterans any time of the year. Another good occasion to consider is Thanksgiving. You can send veterans Thanksgiving letters.

Read more: Military holidays and observances

What to say instead of thank you for your service in a letter to servicemen?

You can express your gratitude by saying, “Your courage, sacrifice, and dedication to our nation are deeply appreciated and have made a lasting impact on our lives. We are forever grateful for your selflessness and commitment to defending our freedoms.”

What are some reasons to be thankful for veterans?

There are numerous reasons to be thankful for veterans, including their selfless dedication to protecting our freedoms, their sacrifices that ensure our safety and security, and the invaluable contributions they have made to our nation’s history and legacy.

How to write to a veteran on a card?

Here are some tips on how to write to a veteran on a card:

1. Begin your card with a friendly and respectful salutation, such as “Dear Veteran” or “Dear [Veteran’s Name].”

2. Express your gratitude using phrases like:

  • “I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your selfless service to our country.”
  • “Your dedication and bravery have not gone unnoticed, and I wanted to express my heartfelt appreciation.”

3. Make your message personal and specific to the veteran. You can include:

  • A story or memory that highlights their impact on your life or the community.
  • How their service has inspired you or others.
  • The ways in which their sacrifice has made a difference.

4. Incorporate Veterans Day wishes or Veterans Day words to convey the significance of the occasion. For example:

  • “On this Veterans Day, we honor and salute you for your remarkable service.”
  • “May this Veterans Day be a reminder of the immense gratitude we have for your sacrifice and bravery.”

5. End your card with warm wishes and a closing that suits your relationship with the veteran, such as:

  • “Wishing you good health and happiness always.”
  • “May you find peace and fulfillment in the years ahead.”

6. Sign the card with your name to add a personal touch and connection.


In conclusion, showing our appreciation for veterans and thanking them for their service is a small gesture that can have a profound impact on their lives. How to thank a veteran for their service varies from verbal expressions to getting involved in veteran support programs.

By taking the time to acknowledge their sacrifices and express our gratitude, we can make a difference in the lives of those who have served. Let’s continue to honor and thank our veterans, not just on Veterans Day but every day, for their selflessness and dedication to our country.

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