to thank a vet: feed a vet, hear a vet, pay a vet, house a vet

Let me just take you on a tour of how my mind works. Tomorrow is Veterans Day. So I decided to reprise a couple of earlier posts, find some new info and offer a chance to thank (and help) our veterans. First stop was Cup of Joe for a Joe. This is an organization that provides a cup of coffee, purchased by you and me, to veterans. But I hear that they don’t offer a discount to veterans in all of their shops so for an hour I got sidetracked into researching whether to recommend this group (I do). In the meantime I’m looking at pictures of veterans and remembering that The Civil Wars were talking about repairing their rift. So I searched out their website (I swear Google is the source of ADHD) and found out that no, they haven’t repaired their rift and the break up is for real. But they have offered us a song by way of gratitude (and maybe apology). So enjoy the song…it’s an awesome rendition of ‘You Are My Sunshine’. And now I’m getting back to where I started. Thanking our veterans by helping out.


This is my favorite….if you’re in line for coffee or at a restaurant having a meal and you see a vet in fatigues, pay their bill. Even if it means you have to order less. Cup of Joe for a Joe is another option…I’ve donated and gotten a couple of sweet notes back. And I’ll do it again.


Yesterday in New York City, Veteran Artist Program (VAP) presented their latest show ‘Telling’ featuring the stories of 7 returned veterans in their own words and by their own voices. In addition VAP offers opportunity for veterans to express themselves through the visual arts, performing arts, writing/literature, film/video, and new/interactive media. Go see a VAP show, donate to the organization, partner with them by becoming an ambassador.


The employees at EcoVet are veterans trained to build furniture. They create rugged and beautiful furnishings from the salvaged material pulled from decommissioned tractor trailers. LEED points people.



Build a house for an injured veteran. Homes For Our Troops builds accessible homes for returning injured veterans. You can help by donating money, offering supplies, giving your sweat equity, buying their merchandise. Check their website and find a veteran neighbor that could use your help.

To our vets, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for the service that you do and the sacrifice that you make.

Keep in touch,

memorial day: remembrance, gratitude and art

Memorial Day: the beginning of summer, the first day to wear white, the best day to buy a washing machine (sales, people!), bbq season has begun. I’m not at all sure how we got here, but here we are. A good friend is a therapist who works with returning soldiers and I thank goodness that not only is she a part of the soldiers’ lives, but also of mine. It reminds me that Memorial Day is not a national bbq holiday. And that ‘happy memorial day’ is not a thing.

When BR McDonald returned home after serving four tours in Afghanistan, his return to the arts was not the same as a non-vet. Veterans must re-create themselves in order to serve in a world so different from the world they leave at home. Their re-entry to this world is fraught with the pain and suffering they experienced and witnessed while serving, the stigma of being a vet, and the process of re-creating themselves yet again to participate in the world they left behind. Some of these vets were artists before their service and need help re-connecting with the art community. In 2009 BR McDonald created the Veteran Artist Program to aid in this reconnection. Like any other artist, veterans create their art to express themselves. What better way can we come to understand the world our vets experience than through their art? VAP focuses on art in 5 areas: visual arts, performing arts, writing/literature, film/video, and new/interactive media. 

So thank you veterans and welcome home. I’m looking forward to what you have to share. And I beg of the rest of the art community, let’s open our arms wide.

Keep in touch,

If you’d like to also offer a small gesture to those still serving, consider sending a cup of joe…..