Memorial Day Weekend – Giving Back to Those That Serve

Memorial Day Weekend presents us with a chance to step back from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives—from the traffic jams to the paper jams to the strawberry jam stains on our work shirts—and take a moment to thank those people providing their time and energy toward serving our country in the most demanding way. Memorial Day gives us the opportunity to take a few minutes out of our lives to do a small part in return and thank those that lend their lives to the United States.

This year, American organizations are celebrating a little more, offering special deals and discounts on a variety of activities, products and services to military service members, veterans and their families. These are just small ways that we give back to our military members who do so much for us. Here are some of the special events happening across the nation in celebration of the great deeds done by our very own men and women in uniform.

Free Museum Admission

Over 600 museums nationwide will open their doors to military members and their families for free, beginning Memorial Day Weekend and continuing throughout the summer. The free admission program is a highlight of the partnership between Blue Star Museums, Blue Star Families and the National Endowment for the Arts programs. Many museums are offering savings of $10-15 through the program. The government has offered this map to help military families locate the participating museums near them.

Free Admission to the Queen Mary

The Queen Mary served as a troop carrier during WWII for five years. It was responsible for carrying thousands of veterans back to the United States, many of which still have vivid memories of the trip. This Memorial Day Weekend, the ship will be offering free general admission to all military service members, both active duty and veteran members. General Admission will give you a self-guided tour through the ship as well as the “Ghosts & Legends” portion of the tour. Bring your military ID and head on out to Long Beach to the Queen Mary during 10AM and 6PM May 29, 30 and 31st to enjoy the discount.

Discounted Cruise Rates

Carnival Cruises is providing discounts for service members, family and friends throughout the month of May on cruises to many popular destinations, such as the Caribbean, Mexico, the Bahamas, Alaska and Canada. Reservations must be made before May 31st, 2010 and the discount applies to cruises booked between now and April 30, 2012. For more information, call 1-800-Carnival or visit their website.

10% Off at Home Depot, Lowe’s

Although Home Depot and Lowe’s have offered 10% discounts to military service members, veterans and their families in the past, beginning this year, both stores will offer the same discount every day to military members, veterans and families.

These are some small ways that regular citizens and organizations are giving back to those that give so much. There are ways individuals can give back, too.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that a great way to make a soldier’s day is to pay for his meal or just say “Thank you.” Well, this Memorial Day Weekend offers another great time to recognize the efforts of those who serve. Step out and stand in at a Memorial Day service, buy a service member a cup of coffee, make an extra effort to listen to your grandfather’s war stories without yawning—whatever you can do to give a little support to the men and women who so diligently and without question support our country, do it. The smallest contributions can mean a great deal to someone who has or is serving.

I am proud to be a part of because it is dedicated to constantly do all it can to serve our service members. It is an organization whose primary goal is to help, support and assist military members, veterans and their families to the best of its abilities, 24/7.

My contribution this Memorial Day Weekend: Calling my state representative to ask for quicker processing of veteran benefits. It’s a short order that could go a long way.

Thank you for reading.

Katy Cryns