Memorial Day is considered the National Moment of Remembrance, where everyone in the country pays tribute to those who were part of the liberation struggle. Yet veterans often face challenges when it comes to re-integrating back into civilian society, and the workplace is no exception.
As the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion continues to grow, consider opportunities to help your veteran peers, friends, and colleagues feel more supported, included, and heard both in and outside of the workplace. Over 17 million Americans are veterans; of that community nearly a quarter experience some mental health trauma, including PTSD and suicide.
Here are just a few ways you can support your veteran colleagues, friends, and neighbors by investing in year-round empathy and playing an active role in building inclusive environments.
Just like everyone else, veterans have diverse and unique lived experiences that shape who they are before, during, and after their service. Creating space and community for veterans to be their authentic selves in and outside of the workplace is critical to helping them feel a sense of belonging and inclusion.
These efforts should span year-round, not just Memorial Day, as authentic efforts to recognize and support veteran colleagues. Consider some of these simple, but supportive, actions:
During the days leading up to Memorial Day, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars take donations for poppies.
“In Flanders fields the poppies blow. Between the crosses, row on row.” The poppy’s significance to Memorial Day is the result of the John McCrae poem In Flanders Fields.
Disabled and underserved veterans in VA hospitals have been assembling Buddy Poppies since 1924. Purchasing a poppy helps support maintaining state and national rehabilitation and service programs for veterans.
Monday is a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made by our service members and the impact it has on their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Together, let’s ensure that the true meaning of Memorial Day resonates within our workplace and community, not just on this day but throughout the year.
In addition to supporting Veterans in our communities, the Businessolver Foundation focuses a lot of attention on advocating for mental health and DEI.