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Support Our Vets on Veterans Appreciation Week


Veterans Day is right around the corner, and to celebrate, the University of North Georgia is hosting a Veterans Appreciation Week Nov. 8-12 to honor our local heroes.

As you may or may not know, there are countless veterans within UNG and the surrounding communities that are in need of support and appreciation. Check out the list below for simple ways to support veterans at UNG and beyond.

1) Donate

Donating is a simple action that can leave a huge impact on vets in your area.

“There’s such a need in our community. There are homeless vets, sick vets, wounded vets and more.” – Former Marine Rita Townsend

Students can help these heroes in need by donating to UNG’s clothing drive. UNG is accepting gently-used clothing from Nov. 8-12 to go to AMVETS, a nonprofit with a donation center in Flowery Branch. Donation boxes will be located on every campus, and all proceeds from AMVETS donations will go to veterans in need.

Outside the university, students can help vets by donating money and/or supplies to the Northeast Georgia Homeless Veterans Shelter. Other agencies accepting donations include Vietnam Veterans of America and Disabled American Veterans. The VVA will pick up clothing, used furniture, and other supplies from Hall county residents’ doors, while the DAV is accepting various monetary donations on their website.

2) Attend Events

UNG is hosting various events this week to honor the sacrifices made by veterans and their families. Sometimes, the simplest way to show appreciation is to show up. “Just the recognition is huge,” said former Marine Sgt. Guy Cassels.

The Veterans Appreciation Breakfast was held on Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 8:30 a.m. on all campuses. Flags were available for students to write the names of their loved ones who have served or are currently serving. Students can also attend the National Roll Call to honor service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. This event will be held on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 1 p.m. on the Gainesville campus. The Veterans Day Ceremony will be held on the same day from 11 a.m. to noon on the Oconee campus.

Outside UNG, Lula Veterans Park is hosting its annual Veterans Day Celebration on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 10 a.m. Attendees can enjoy patriotic music from Lula Elementary School and area singers, a performance from the Hall County Sheriff’s Department Color Guard as well as a speech from retired 1st Sgt. David Wiles.

3) Volunteer

Volunteering at your local Veterans Affairs Hospital is a great way to help veterans in need. VA facilities are always looking for volunteers to provide company to hospitalized vets. Former Army Pfc. Tara Colvin said it’s important for students to recognize “the sacrifices that are made not just physically, but mentally for most if not all veterans and their families.” Find a VA facility near you here.

For students interested in volunteering virtually, Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit helping veterans find new careers. They are currently looking for virtual volunteers to help vets with mock interviews and career counseling among other services.

4) Say “Thank You”

Former Naval Officer and Vietnam Veteran Brian Dennis says the best way to appreciate vets is to “personally thank every veteran you know for their service, dedication, and sacrifices to keep us free and safe.”

Townsend agrees. “So much of the time, kind words, compassion and a sense of normalcy can be the best possible gift for vets,” she said, “especially those with PTSD.”

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Support Our Vets on Veterans Appreciation Week