I am so very grateful for the sacrifices of those in the armed forces and their families. This life I frequently take for granted is a giant gift from so many people who have given up everything.
But life is crazy busy and I never seem to have the foresight to actually plan ahead for meaningful experiences as I am constantly either
1. Chasing after the latest ball that I've dropped, or
2. Sprinting in circles.
Veteran's Day is coming up here soon. For 2018 it's Sun. Nov 11 and observed Mon. Nov 12.
Every year I feel guilty at the end of Veteran's Day for not doing anything to honor those who have served. Sometimes we haven't even talked about what the day means and have just enjoyed one more day off of school.
Last year I had a total brainstorm of an idea last minute and we pulled together this new tradition. To say it was a success with my kids would be very much underselling it.
Best part? It doesn't take any real preparation or cost anything.
Have you ever TPed a house, I mean back when you were a wild and rebellious 13 year old? This channels that excitement into a positive, awesome experience for not only the doer but the receiver.
I'm calling this the Veteran's Day Flag Attack, and the goal is to spread some love and cheer to a local veteran who could use some appreciation.
Veteran's Day Flag Attack
1. PREP: Gather all your red, white, and blue art supplies. We're talking paper, tape, do a dots, finger paint, markers, glue, pipe cleaners, stickers, whatever you've got. You could also print off some flags to cut up if you wanted to get a little crazy.
2. CREATE: Everyone creates some patriotic artwork, including you. Use this time to talk to your kids about your feelings on veterans and their sacrifices. This will make the whole experience so much more powerful for the kiddos when they know WHY they're doing this.
3. DECORATE: Grab your tape and head to a friendly, unsuspecting veteran's house. If you're feeling lucky, decorate their front door. As we are as quiet as a garbage truck, last year we decked out the garage door which was a bit more remote.
Hint: Roll the tape and have the kids attach the rolls to their artwork in the car so the decorating goes quicker. However, make sure you bring the tape up with you as you will most definitely need it.
4. BEAT IT: As quietly as you can, get back into the car and take off.
I'm still cracking up thinking about my kids whisper-shouting to each other to be quiet/hurry up as we taped up their artwork and ran back to the van.
As we were new in our area last year we didn't know anyone who was a veteran, so I called someone in our church for suggestions. Obviously, be wise in who's home you Flag Attack and stay safe!
Give this a try. Not only can you feel good about teaching appreciation for our veterans and their families but you also are teaching the joy of service.
Plus, it's just fun!