v2Veterans Day is an important day of reflection and gratitude for all of the service members who have ever served honorably and possibly paid the ultimate price (their lives) in ensuring our freedoms. Some people do not really understand it as a “holiday” because it seems like a serious and solemn occasion but it doesn’t have to be – nearly all service members and their families use it as a day of togetherness to celebrate our efforts to keep our nation safe.

As an active duty Air Force member (12 years in January!), I really enjoy volunteering at local VA facilities and visiting elderly veterans or Wounded Warriors to pay it forward and thank them for paving the way for me to able to serve with fierce pride.  It doesn’t matter what service branch or how long a veteran has served, their job or occupation while in the military is also not as important as the fact that they raised their right hand to defend this country as part of the 1 percent who chose to live that lifestyle and guarantee our freedoms. Freedom isn’t free – it has to be defended on a daily basis and we owe it to our vets and their families to take the time to say thanks for everything that they do.

It’s also important to acknowledge military families, the civilian spouses and children that are the backbone of support enabling our servicemen and women to go out and handle business. Without these flexible and strong individuals, we would not be able to have people away from home for months on end, performing the tasks that need to be done in order to ensure that we can sleep soundly at night without fear of upheaval. I am always in awe of Mr. Moms like my husband, who sacrifices his professional career to support my military lifestyle. I also have a lot of respect for the dual role parents who balance everything to become Mom & Dad to their children when one has to be called away. Military kids deserve to be mentioned too, as they are some of the most mature and resilient people you will ever meet! Their adaptability to change and love for their families gives them the strength to bear the burden of frequent moves and alternative family schedules, missed holidays and special events.

camo-icecream-600x800In honor of Veterans Day, Ben & Jerry’s is releasing a new flavor ice cream, inspired by the common camouflage motif pattern used for everything in the military.  The military-themed ice cream, formally dubbed “First Class Camouflage”, is available throughout November and is a combination of three flavors: chocolate (brown), “salty” caramel (tan) and vanilla cake (green). In addition, on Veterans Day, the company will donate 10 cents from each ice cream scoop sold in its U.S. locations to the United Service Organizations (USO), in honor of U.S troops.

What does Veterans Day mean to you and what does your family do to celebrate it?

Liz Cameo   Liz