“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
– John F. Kennedy

Today is Veterans’ Day in the United States, a day when the whole country recognizes the important contribution of our military men and women. The Post Office and the banks are closed, and some of us have the day off from our work. Either way, this day is about paying respect, homage and gratitude to veterans.

For my personal brand, gratitude and generosity play a large part. As most of you know, I spend a lot of pro bono hours developing tools and programs to help veterans transition from military to civilian careers. My dedication to helping those who served our country is very closely tied to my desired brand (and legacy).

Gratitude is a very positive thing for human beings. According to Psychology Today:

Studies show that gratitude not only can be deliberately cultivated but can increase levels of well-being and happiness among those who do cultivate it. In addition,
grateful thinking—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with
increased levels of energy, optimism, and empathy.

If gratitude is part of your personal brand strategy, here are some ways you can help a veteran today, or any day:

  • Pay for a uniformed military member’s coffee, lunch or a snack when they are behind you in line.
  • Volunteer to help veterans with skills you possess (cooking meals, medical services, coaching and employment skills, driving them to appointments, write a helpful article, etc).
  • Invite them to a networking event that is beyond their financial means. Coach them on how to dress, network and follow up with people they will meet.
  • Offer to babysit their children when they go to a job interview, or a date with their spouse.
  • Say, “Thank you for your service,” when you see a uniformed serviceman or woman (or veteran).
  • Post an empowering message, thought or suggestion on a social media site that helps veterans and their families.
  • Invite a military member’s spouse out for a day away from the worrying about their loved one who is deployed.

Let’s keep this list going! What other ways can people show gratitude to veterans?