The Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia Team with William Martin, World War II veteran.
The Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia Team with William Martin, World War II veteran.

By: Jo McCabe

As a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and veteran of the U.S. Navy, Veteran's Day holds a special place on my calendar and in my heart. This day marked the end of World War I and is now reserved to honor all veterans from every war.

I live and work in Virginia, which may be among the most patriotic states in our country as it is full of military history and personnel. Regardless of where you live, this year, you can consider these ideas for remembering those who stood up to defend the freedoms we enjoy in our daily lives:

  1. Attend a Veterans Ceremony or Parade. You can find scheduled events with a quick Google search.
  2. Write a letter to deployed service members, new recruits or wounded warriors through Operation Gratitude. See guidelines and information about care packages and donations at www.operationgratitude.com.
  3. Plan an annual day of service to benefit a military veteran using your talents, contacts and resources. Each year, our business, Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia Arlington closes its doors for the National Day of Service and Remembrance and spends the day honoring a local veteran, identified through the local VFW, by providing them with a day of repair, maintenance and improvement work free of charge.
  4. Do you know a veteran with an amazing story? Help make sure their voice is heard and contact the Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/vets and help the Library of Congress collect and preserve these experiences.
  5. Do you have unused frequent flier miles? The Fisher House Foundation at www.fisherhouse.org accepts donated frequent flier miles and helps family members travel to visit injured service members.

This year's National Day of Service and Remembrance project was the largest we have ever done. We donated more than 200 hours of labor and materials to a World War II Veteran, Mr. William Martin. Martin received an APO 244 Certificate of Commendation Award for his service.

Helping Mr. Martin was an extremely rewarding experience for myself and our entire team. We are truly thankful for what he and other veterans have sacrificed for our country and freedom. For all I know, he may have fought side by side with my grandfather. At the end of the day, Mr. Martin and his family came up and hugged our entire team and said thank you. Our efforts were just a small token of our appreciation for his service to our country.