Top Five Ways to Honor Our Military Communities this Holiday Season

1. Volunteer in your local community

First Lady at Toys for Tots Event

First Lady Michelle Obama sorts toys after she delivers toys and gifts donated by White House staff to the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots Campaign at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Volunteering in your local community in honor of our military service members, veterans and their families is a great way to show your support and appreciation. There are many ways to get involved in your local community; you can volunteer with a local organization or start a volunteer project.

2. Pledge hours of community service for Blue Star Families

Take a moment to pledge hours of community service for Blue Star Families in honor of our military communities.

3. Lay a wreath to honor the fallen

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Pay respect and honor to those who fought to protect our freedoms by laying a wreath on the tomb of a fallen soldier.

4. Send a message of thanks 

A message written by First Lady is seen on a U.S. Marine Corps flag

A message written by First Lady is seen on a U.S. Marine Corps flag at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., April 4, 2012.

As we gather with our loved ones, take a moment to our military service members, veterans and their families are appreciated by sending a message of thanks through the USO.   

5. A simple thank you

President Barack Obama greets Richard Overton, with Earlene Love-Karo, in the Blue Room of the White House.

President Barack Obama greets Richard Overton, with Earlene Love-Karo, in the Blue Room of the White House, Nov. 11, 2013. Mr. Overton,107 years old and the oldest living World War II veteran, attended the Veteran's Day Breakfast at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

When you see a veteran or any military personnel, shake their hand and simply say "thank you."  If you know a military family, pick up the phone to let them know they are appreciated. This simple act of kindness will brighten up their day and make them feel appreciated.

Col. Rich Morales is Executive Director of Joining Forces  

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