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This Veterans Day we honor the 19.6 million veterans for their sacrifice and services. But you don’t have to limit yourself to only showing your gratitude today. There are plenty of ways to give back and say thanks beyond the holiday!

Today, veterans are being thanked with speeches, parades, and more. Many restaurants are offering up free meals, stores are offering special discounts, and Veteran's Day parades large and small are happening throughout the country.

5 Ways to Honor Veterans Beyond Veteran’s Day 

Don’t Assume: Don’t assume a veteran is broken mentally or physically. Though that may be the stereotype, don’t treat them like victims. Each veteran has a unique journey and story to tell. 

Invest in Them: After their service, the hardest obstacle to overcome is finding a job. About 77 percent of veterans struggle with unemployment. Invest in hiring initiatives for veterans that help with placement and travel. 

Help the Families: From helping their vets recover to trying to recover from hardships themselves, wives and children of veterans often need help along with their vets. You can help veteran families you know of or work with foundations such as The Code of Support, which works to bridge the gap between civilian communities and the military. 

Send Them a Thank You: Since the holidays are approaching, write to veterans or active-duty members and thank them for serving. Many restaurants, cafes and stores offer the opportunity for you to send a card or pre-made care package via a small donation. 

Volunteer: Get involved with veteran programs! From helping with meals and donating clothes to giving up time to talk with and counsel veterans, every action counts. For example, mental health professionals can donate services to Give an Hour, connecting counselors to veterans, service members and their families. There is also Welcome Back Veterans, which helps people in a community link up with veterans. 

If you or a loved one has served, happy Veteran's Day and thank you for your service!

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