Veterans Day is when we come together as a nation to honor and remember the sacrifices made by our family members, friends, and neighbors who have served our country. Many events are held across Vancouver on November 11th to honor the dedication and service of veterans, active duty military members, and their families.
Whether you are looking for a fun family outing to spend the holiday together or are seeking year-round opportunities to give back, there are several ways you can honor and support your local community of veterans. Here are several events that are taking place for you to check out, in addition to some other opportunities where you can give back to those who have dedicated their lives to service.
#1 Visit Fort Vancouver
A fun family outing on Veterans Day can be a visit to Fort Vancouver, located on the north bank of the Columbia River, with a lovely view of the snowy mountains and sprawling urban landscape. From humble origins as a frontier fur trading post, it became an important military outpost in the Pacific Northwest and the center of Vancouver’s rich cultural history.
If you are looking for a fun outing or educational experience in Vancouver’s military history, consider visiting Fort Vancouver. You can even bring your pets along for the day and enjoy the park grounds!
#2 Veterans Day Parade
Another staple across many cities in the United States is the Veterans Day Parade to honor our veterans and war heroes. Vancouver has a long-established tradition of honoring its military history and its past and present military service members. This year marks the 34th annual Lough Legacy Veterans Parade to celebrate its community of veterans in partnership with the City of Vancouver and local donors. It is an opportunity to show your support for your family members, friends, and neighbors and come together as a community.
#3 Washington State Parks Free Days
Usually, the entry fee to state parks costs around $12 for a one-day pass or $30 for an annual pass, but on Veterans Day, the park will be open to the public for free. It is a fantastic opportunity to spend some time outdoors with your family or friends and enjoy the lush scenery together. Whether you are looking for a place to enjoy some outdoor activities or a quiet and relaxing place to work remotely or read a book, this is an opportunity you will not want to miss.
#4 Veterans Day Camp
The 2022 Veterans Day Camp at the Harmony Sports Complex Turf Field is another lucrative way to envelope yourself with some fun while honoring veterans. The event is for boys and girls born between 2011 and 2017 as a chance to work with the Washington Timbers and a USSF B Licensed Camp Director to polish up their soccer skills.
It is a one-day camp to help young soccer players have plenty of chances to touch the ball and experiment and practice what they learn, from dribbling to striking and passing. If you are a family of soccer lovers or know any friends with kids interested in the sport, consider checking it out! It costs $40 per child to attend.
#5 2022 Race to Remember
Race to Remember is partnering with the Fort Vancouver National Trust, sponsors of the Veterans Day Parade, again this year to honor past and present veterans by hosting a 5k and 11k race. After a cannon salute, the route will lead from the Veterans Day Parade at Fort Vancouver and over to the land bridge leading to the Columbia River Trail before finishing back at Fort Vancouver National Park.
For younger children who wish to join, there is also the Little Hero 1k race which is a perfect chance for children to honor local veterans. It is a family-friendly event that begins at 8:30 a.m. for a fun day of physical exercise!
#6 Military Appreciation Night
The Military Appreciation Night is a special thank you dinner hosted by Golden Corral to honor and thank U.S. military members who defend our country and rights. To date, they have provided over 6 million free meals for active duty and retired military members and raised 17.5 million dollars over the past 20 years to support disabled American veterans.
This event will be hosted on November 14th from 5 p.m. until closing and is free for anyone who has served in the U.S. Military, National Guard, or Reserves. Family and friends are welcome to join in the fun but are not eligible for the free “thank you” meal provided to veterans and active duty service members.
#7 Buy from Veteran-Owned Businesses
Another way you can help out your local veterans on Veterans Day and year-round is by shopping at a veteran-owned business. Low Vision is a veteran-owned company that helps provide tools and techniques to those with visual impairments – including reading machines, magnifiers, and talking watches.
If you or anyone you know might benefit from their services, consider checking out their website to see how they operate. Buying from them is a fantastic way to support their business and help them continue to serve the community with their wonderful products and services.
#8 Volunteer at Vancouver VA Medical Center
The Vancouver VA Medical Center is where local veterans receive medical care and treatment for health issues. By nature of their work, they are always grateful for volunteer assistance from the local community. There are a variety of ways to contribute, such as working as van drivers for outpatients who need help getting home after receiving treatment for chemotherapy, dialysis, radiation therapy, and other appointments.
You can work as an office assistant to help with different medical or administrative offices in the medical center by filing, answering the phone, and greeting and directing patients. By volunteering at the Vancouver VA, you can help strengthen their efforts to support local veterans and show gratitude for their service.
Vancouver offers several events to honor local veterans, but there are also plenty of opportunities year-round to show gratitude. Consider joining in on any of these events, volunteering at the local VA, or shopping at veteran-owned businesses this Veterans Day to support your local veteran community.