7 Ways to Show Navy Members You Care

By  //  May 19, 2022

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The US Navy has a reputation for excellence, both historically and at present. This military branch projects power across the many oceans and seas of the world, serving as a force of good for over 200 years.

There’s no doubt that Navy members both active and retired deserve our thanks, but how do we show them we care in an authentic way? 

You probably know a few Navy service members in your daily life or even in your family. There are over 300,000 active duty members and countless more vets – it’s time to honor them the right way.

You don’t need to spend a fortune or sacrifice tons of time to make a positive impact in the lives of Navy veterans and active service members. Here’s how you can show your appreciation with gestures that truly matter.

1. Know About the Navy

Most civilians (those of us who aren’t in the armed forces), fail to recognize the differences between the major branches of the military. Let it be known now – the Navy is an organization with distinctive characteristics, responsibilities, and a legacy of its own.

This is the first step in honoring those who serve, or have served, in the Navy – simply knowing what it’s all about! 

Read a few articles on Navy traditions like the various gun salutes, sayings, and insignia. Learn which pivotal battles in history by brave members of the Navy, and which ships played a key role.

A little knowledge goes a long way and will surely inspire some questions worth asking. 

2. Show Curiosity with Questions

It’s a universal rule for making friends and connections: ask about the other person and they’ll be happy to share about themselves. This is true for many service members, especially if you explore topics related to the Navy and their experience through the years.

Ask about basic training, life abroad, or what led them to join this particular branch of the military in the first place. By simply showing your curiosity, that’s showing you care.

Just be aware that not everyone wants to talk about combat or the harsher side of military life, so that may be a topic to leave on the shelf – at least at first.

3. Celebrate Key Holidays

It’s not just Veterans Day and Memorial Day that honor members of the Navy in our country. There are many more holidays and observances to acknowledge to show deeper appreciation for these brave men and women.

For example, did you know that the Navy has its birthday on October 13th of each year? May is also National Military Appreciation Month, and the Month of the Military Caregiver. 

There are also days that honor military spouses, children, and veterans of specific conflicts in the past. Do some research and put them on the calendar so you make the correct gestures on the right days when they come around.

4. Support Veteran Businesses

Nowadays, veteran-owned businesses are plentiful and tend to do quite well. However, you may not know which ventures are founded and operated by prior members of the Navy, so that’s definitely worth a Google search!

There are likely veterans in your own community that start companies or non-profits worth supporting, especially if you live in a coastal town or city.

5. Offer Discounts and Opportunities

If you’re part of a company or organization that interfaces with the public, give military veterans the discount they deserve. Just a few dollars saved here and there goes a long way, and the thought counts more than anything.

This not only shows members of the Navy and other armed forces that you care, but it’s also a good, ethical marketing method to expand your business. 

The idea that we “vote with our wallets” is real, and people want to support those who support vets.

6. Connect with Vets and Organizations

Volunteering your time is still the best way to show your direct support for veterans of the Navy and the armed forces at large. 

Actually showing up in person and pledging your time is arguably more impactful than writing a hundred-dollar check that could end up anywhere.

No matter where you’re located, there are bound to be opportunities that connect you with veterans from every walk of life. The smaller the organization, the more support they need, so start local and watch the positive impact in real time.

7. Create Custom Navy Merch

There’s no shortage of military merch out there. But to make a statement that vets can truly appreciate, you’ll want to take the custom route and create some personalized Navy gear.

Custom US Navy ball caps are a perfect starting point, offering options for ships, insignia, and badges to display. You can also add names, ranks, and so much more.

The same goes for shirts, decals, and a huge range of apparel and gear. That’s how you go beyond just saying “thank you for your service” – and make a genuine impression that lasts.