This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine. I’m partnering with Folgers® at Walmart through the Share A Cup & A Story campaign, to create personal connections with Veterans and honor their service to our country.

thank a veteran

I love fall mornings when I can sit outside with a cup of coffee.  It’s a great way to start the day and sets my heart for what’s to come. 

I remember growing up, when I’d wake up and see the big red can of Folgers® Classic Roast sitting next to the coffee pot.  I will never forget the undeniable smell of coffee brewing and the joy in one’s face when coffee is poured and someone holds a warm cup in their hand… a sensation I look forward to now, as an adult.  (Especially on a cold day!)

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Many of us remember the jingle, “The best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup.” Coffee is, by far, the best part about my morning, and one I love sharing with others.  Coffee and conversation go hand in hand, and there is nothing I like better than sharing a cup and a story with my favorite veteran.

If you ever get the opportunity to sit down with a veteran over coffee, take that opportunity!  Veterans have wonderful stories to share, and though some stories may not be what you’d like to hear, it gives one a deeper sense of appreciation for the love and dedication they have for our country. 

thank a veteran

We recently met Rockie at our local Farmer’s Market.  When I asked Rockie to join me for a cup of coffee, I had no idea my afternoon would be so memorable.

After a great childhood, I learned that Rockie joined the Army in 1971, with the desire to serve his country (just like his brother, father and grandfather did).    I could see Rockie’s eyes light up when he proudly stated he was in the Army for 7 years, 8 months and 19 days… knowing these numbers by heart.  Rockie spoke about his years in the Vietnam War, praising the good times and through tears, mentioning the bad times.  From those years of serving in the military, Rockie gained valuable lessons to make a difference at home, in the workforce and in everyday tasks, paving the way to his 70th year of life. Rockie learned to be a heavy duty machinist while in the Army, which led him to his career until he became disabled.  Rockie told me he has traveled the world as a heavy duty machinist, and those experiences would not have been made possible if he didn’t have the training and knowledge the Army provided. Veterans can share many stories of leadership, discipline and dedication, and many are happy to tell those stories.

Veterans Day – November 11

Why is Veterans Day important?  Veterans Day is a federal holiday that is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day. It falls on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Veterans Day means freedom, sacrifice, and honor for those who served in the military. It also means to give thanks to people who served.  Without Veterans Day, many Americans would forget them and the sacrifices they made.

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5 Ways To Thank A Veteran This Veterans Day

  1. Give handshakes and a “thank you” when you see a veteran.  This is a sure way to make both the giver and receiver smile.  This acknowledgment means a lot. 
  2. Take a veteran to lunch.  If you see a veteran having a meal, offer to buy it (or at least send over a dessert.)  Look for customers wearing identifying pins, hats or shirts.
  3. Make breakfast.  This can be muffins, a frozen casserole or your favorite dish.  Add a package of Folgers coffee and watch their hearts warm!  
  4. Make cards.  This is a great activity for children or a class. Deliver the cards to your local nursing home or VA hospital.  (You might even stay for a game of cards or checkers!  Imagine the stories that can be told in an afternoon!)  
  5. Buy $5 gift cards and pass them out to veterans you see that day.  We plan to make cards and attach a gift card, then hand them out randomly after our community Veteran’s Day program.   Small acts of recognizing someone’s service, even if you do this anonymously, are appreciated.

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Make sure you look for Folgers Coffee at Walmart, where customers are encouraged to go beyond the “Thank You” this Veteran’s Day.  

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