If you're like most people, you'll be taking advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend and will be hitting up the lake or firing up the grill, and that's fine- as long as you also remember the reason behind Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a day to honor the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice and died in military service to our country.

So, between grilling and lounging on the dock, why not take some time to recognize and thank veterans, troops, and their families this Memorial Day? Here are four ways you and your family can show your support.

  • 1

    Write a Letter

    Worried that you need to be a master with words or write a novel? Nah! You can write a simple thank you note to a vet or current member of the armed forces through A Million Thanks, which makes it easy to send a letter to men and women in the military. They’ll even give you writing samples if you get stumped on what to say.

  • 2

    Turn Your BBQ Into a Troop Fundraiser

    Having a bunch of friends over for a Memorial Day BBQ? Perfect! Set out a jar and invite your guests to toss in a couple bucks. Then, send the money you collect to the USO to help our troops and their families. You can enter your donation here.

  • 3

    Support Mental Health Help

    This is such a sobering stat- every day, 22 vets or military members commit suicide. By supporting an organization like Wings for Warriors you could play a part in saving the life.

  • 4

    Spread Some Love at Home...Literally, at Home

    If you know of a Binghamton area family with a loved one serving overseas, or a family who's lost a loved one, take a little bit of time out of your day to mow their lawn or offer to watch their kids. Maybe see if they have anything they need help fixing around the house or ask if you can make a meal for them. Deployed troops worry about their family back home, but knowing their neighbors are looking out will take away some of that worry.