With Veterans Day here, it’s important to take the time to recognize the heroes among us. They are the courageous men and women who served in our armed forces.

As we pay tribute to those who have served in the United States military, as well as the brave men and women who are currently serving, I am reminded of their sacrifices and grateful for the freedoms for which they have fought.

So what can you do to celebrate?

Show service members your appreciation by taking just a few minutes out of your day to acknowledge veterans in your workplace. Even just a few simple words or small act of kindness to show how much their service means to you goes a long way.

Visit a veterans’ hospital. Chatting with veterans is a great way to brighten their day. You will probably hear some intriguing stories about their time in the service.

Find an event in your community. Many communities throughout the state organize parades and vigils to salute our nation’s heroes. Contact your local Veterans Administration for an event near you.

Support veteran-owned businesses. Frequenting veteran-owned businesses is a great way to show support for returning service members and their families. According to the National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) there are an estimated 3 million veteran-owned businesses in the United States. Veterans’ exemplify discipline, teamwork, integrity, commitment and a great work ethic, which also happen to be many of the same qualities that are required of successful entrepreneurs. Visitwww.veteranownedbusiness.com to identify veteran-owned companies in your area.

Another great way to honor those who have served is to invest in veterans. It’s good business and a great way to honor military servicemen and women throughout the year. Hiring former military members is more than patriotic. Veterans contribute extraordinary talents that will grow your company and quickly add value. Veterans deliver results. They work well under pressure. In the words of Colin Powell, “success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence.”

It’s easy to take for granted the freedoms and sacrifices that most deserve our gratitude. Freedom is never free, the wise saying goes. The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is humbled by and grateful for our servicemen and servicewomen. Thank you for serving our nation.

—written by Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

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