(BPT) - If you have family friends that are current or former service members, you know how important it is to show them your appreciation. As Veterans Day approaches, it's the ideal time to think about how you can show your support for former military members on this day and beyond.
For the Mondavi family, owners of CK Mondavi and Family, supporting veterans is a cause near and dear to their hearts.
'My father, Peter Mondavi, Sr., served in World War II,' said Marc Mondavi, third generation co-proprietor of the winery. 'He was dedicated to helping other veterans, and it is a cause that is very meaningful to me as well.'
To help you observe Veterans Day and honor veterans all year long, CK Mondavi and Family has offered these three tips.
1. Marking Veterans Day
You can mark Veterans Day at home in simple yet meaningful ways. In preparation for Veterans Day, you can display a yellow ribbon outside your home, the universal symbol of support for veterans and active-duty members. Consider getting friends and family together to write and send notes to veterans you personally know.
Also, find out if your community hosts public observations of Veterans Day or holds a parade so you can attend or become involved in planning it. Visit your local Veterans Affairs hospital and retirement community and spend time with veterans listening to their stories.
2. Share a meal with a family member or friend who is a veteran
Often, after leaving service and returning to civilian life, veterans can feel isolated and lonely. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, researchers tried to learn which facets of social connectedness are linked to depression in former service members. The results suggest that loneliness was tied to the highest levels of depression. It is also associated with the lowest level of patient efforts to manage their health and seek help.
To help the veterans in your life combat loneliness, invite them regularly to share a meal with you. It's a simple but impactful way to show them you care. During the meal, ask them how they're doing and offer ways to support them with their struggles. If you don't personally know a former service member, reach out to your local veteran services and ask if you can visit veterans or bring a meal to share with them.
3. Donate to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
Donating to a military charity is a great way to support veterans every day of the year. Your donations can help fund mental health services, job training and other resources for veterans locally and nationally.
One group you can consider donating to is the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF). IFHF serves U.S. military personnel experiencing traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress. To date, IFHF has raised over $200 million for facilities, programs and financial support for the U.S. military community.
Individuals like you aren't the only ones who donate to this organization. CK Mondavi and Family has supported IFHF for a decade and contributed $230,000 to date. They continue their strong partnership to this day.
'Our long-term partners are critical to our ability to meet the needs of our veteran community,' said David Winters, president of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. 'CK Mondavi and Family has been a supporter for more than a decade, and we're grateful for their ongoing commitment.'
Using these three tips, you can show veterans that you care and honor them for their service and sacrifice. To learn more about the fund and how you can support veterans year-round, visit FallenHeroesFund.org.