Honor American Heroes this Memorial Day

Do you celebrate and pay tribute to America’s fallen heroes on Memorial Day? Here are 10 ways retailers and small businesses recognize military personnel and how you can, too.

Tip: Join with other area businesses and hold a job fair or career day for vets who’ve recently returned from service.

3 PM A National Moment of Remembrance on Memorial Day when Americans are asked to pause for a moment of silence
1. DISCOUNTS. Many retail businesses offer discounts to current and retired military and their families—at least for the week surrounding Memorial Day. That’s a great message and a service to those who’ve served.

2. VISIT VETS. Contact a local home for retired vets and offer to bring in a staff member to adjust and clean glasses.

3. MOMENT OF REFLECTION. Spread the word. At 3 p.m. locally, Americans are asked to take a moment and reflect on the sacrifices men and women in the Armed Services have made.

4. GIFT FLAGS. For several days leading up to Memorial Day, promote the fact that you will be offering small flags to both customers and anyone who comes in and completes a brief survey. That way, you get some cost-free research and consumers are reminded what Memorial Day is all about.

5. HOLIDAY FAIRS. Some communities have local fairs to celebrate the holiday and the long weekend. Rent a tabletop, offer a celebratory gift (flags or other red, white, and blue mementos), and pass out info about your practice. Include a coupon for something extra or money off if they visit your location within two weeks following Memorial Day. As with local health fairs this summer, be sure to give away something like a cleaning cloth that’s personalized with your contact info.

6. PARADES. Make sure your practice in represented in your local parade. Just being there counts.

7. GAMES. There are lots of community barbeques around Memorial Day. They often have games for kids, too. Sponsor one of those. Bring staff, wear tee shirts emblazoned with your company name, and give a few away as prizes.

8. SUPPORT A FAMILY. Every community has local families who have had a family member lost or severely wounded in the line of duty. Adopt the family, offer them free eyecare, and, if they’re willing, send their photo to the local paper and post it on Facebook. It sets a great example of giving and also reminds other families about the importance of eyecare.

9. CAREER DAY. It’s not easy to transition from the armed services to civilian life. Many younger vets come home ready to start a career, and many older ones are looking for second one. Hold a Career Day with other businesses in your community and invite local vets and their families to investigate opportunities you and other small business may have.

10. EDUCATE. Learn more about PTSD and TBI. They’re among the all-to-often-undiagnosed situations faced by returning service personnel. If a recently-returned-from-duty soldier is in your office, look for signs of trauma, and have informational brochures about support services available in-office.


You no doubt have returning service personnel in your community and in your practice. Have you done anything special for them or reached out to offer services? Tell us what you have done to recognize and support service men and women and join in our Facebook conversation here.


Erinn Morgan