Whether it’s a graduation, anniversary or retirement, there are plenty of milestones in life that are cause for celebration. These opportunities to pat ourselves on the back help to remind us why hard work is worth it. As the old cliche goes, “Hard work pays off,” and no one understands this better than the military Veteran. The ultimate payoff being: a safer, better and stronger country for all.
With such an accomplishment under your belt, why wouldn’t you want to celebrate? Your military career shouldn’t be swept under the rug once it’s over, as it is what got you to where you are today. So go ahead, celebrate you. We give you not only permission, but tips for celebrating your military experience in your personal and professional life.
Share Your Skills
What did your time in the military teach you? How to navigate, hike across treacherous terrain, run long distances, lead a team? There are so many skills you could share with your new civilian coworkers, many of whom are curious to learn what it’s like to be a soldier. In fact, there are military-style “boot camps” popping up all over the country that fuel that curiosity. Hold a free course for your colleagues on navigation and map reading or start an early-morning running group that meets every week before work. By using, and sharing the skills of your past, you’re also commemorating your valuable experiences.
Revisit Old Duty Stations
Maybe it’s where your first child was born. Maybe it’s where you met your spouse. Or maybe it’s where you spent months in miserable training conditions that taught you valuable life lessons. Whatever the personal meaning, take a trip down memory lane with a visit to an old duty station. Even if your memories aren’t all fond, revisiting a place of once great importance can do a lot to restore your soul — and your memory.
Take Advantage of Discounts
Veterans Day includes deals for Vets everywhere you turn. Take advantage of these discounts and treat yourself and your family. Websites like Thrillest.com are great at rounding up where to get free or discounted items on Veterans Day each year. In addition, don’t be shy about asking for Veteran discounts on non-holiday outings. Movie theaters, restaurants, hotels and many retail stores offer everyday military discounts for both active and non-active duty Veterans. Also, if you’re a Veteran and haven’t heard of GovX, look it up! GovX gives military and government employees free access to heavily discounted items, from sports tickets, to theme park memberships to concerts.
In the same way you want to celebrate your military experience, it’s just as important to celebrate others’ experiences too. In fact, by recognizing fellow Veteran colleagues, neighbors, or friends, you can actually improve your health. According to SUCCESS, celebrating others’ success can increase our feelings of positivity and joy. This leads to greater optimism, which a Harvard study says can protect against health issues like cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, respiratory disease and infection. How exactly can you celebrate other Veterans? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Arrange a lunch outing for you and your fellow Veteran coworkers
- Ask your company to highlight Veteran workers in the company newsletter
- Write hand-written letters of gratitude to Veteran friends you haven’t seen in awhile
- Volunteer at Veteran-specific nonprofits
There are many other ways to celebrate your military experience. Contact SAVI today to learn more.