This Memorial Day will be different than any other we’ve experienced. Americans can’t gather in our traditional rituals to honor the fallen. There will be smaller barbecues and fewer parades, and many veterans’ cemeteries will be closed to the public. For many veterans, families, and patriotic Americans this will mean a lost sense of community when we would normally gather to remember our lost brothers and sisters.
But although we won’t be observing Memorial Day as we normally would, we can still honor our heroes’ sacrifices with service in our communities.
Concerned Veterans for America Foundation staffer and Army veteran Luis Vegas recently took the mission to heart and set an example for us all.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit communities all over the country hard, including Luis’ own home of Las Vegas. When Luis heard from a fellow veteran who was about to become homeless because of the crisis, he stepped in to help.
Navy veteran Aaron Spencer recently moved to Las Vegas with his family, sharing a home with a woman whose children were away at college. But when colleges shifted to online learning and students made their way home, Aaron and his family needed to find new housing.
Aaron reached out to Luis for help, and Luis got to work. He coordinated with local veterans groups to find a place for Aaron and his family and to help with bills until the family was settled. The Spencers are now staying in a rental property that a local Marine Corps veteran opened to them until permanent housing becomes available.
With Luis leading the way, the Las Vegas military community rallied around Aaron and his family, ensuring one of their own was taken care of in his time of need.
“It’s so important for us to take care of our own,” Luis says. “We watched out for each other in uniform and I’m proud to continue that as a veteran here in Nevada.”
All over the country, people are stepping up just like Luis to care for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Through efforts such as GiveTogetherNow, Americans are giving their time, money, or resources to help get their friends and neighbors through these difficult times. Even performing simple acts of kindness is a way people can contribute to those around them in a tangible way through the effort.
We hope that you’ll join us in the mission to help each other through this crisis, whether by donating to a worthy cause, connecting with your community, or even through small acts of kindness.
What better way to honor those who sacrificed for this country than to care for our fellow Americans?