You’ve given something I never have. You know the true meaning of bravery, selflessness, sacrifice and struggle. You are the select men and women of this country who have put your lives on the line so that we can continue to live the American Dream. To you, our veterans, I thank you.


For the rest of us, I encourage you to look around. Is there someone in your life who you can thank?

In my family, I’d like to honor my grandfathers, my uncle and my dad. And one day, my husband who is currently active duty Army, will join those ranks like his father, grandfather and other brave men in his family.

This year, I have a personalized and special way to thank the vets in my life:


Honor a Veteran With Your Personalized Video

You too can make a custom video for your loved ones. In honor of Veteran’s Day on November 11th, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) has created a Thank a Vet web tool to show your appreciation. Simply upload a few photos of a friend or family member, add a few lines of thanks, choose your desired music and background, and then hit the create button! Voila!

Honoring A Few Good Men

Your #ThankAVet video is a wonderful way to show appreciation, and may open the door to further acknowledgement, conversation and thankful gestures. It has inspired me to add these words:

To my dear Papaw Jack, I can’t believe that at just 17, you lied about your age to join the Navy and fight in WW2. What a brave and determined young man you were. Now at age 90, this is just one of your many accomplishments in a life well-lived, including a 68-year marriage to your sweetheart Mary Lou. Thank you for your service — you truly are part of the greatest generation.


To my dear Granddaddy Frank who is no longer with us, you boldly joined the Navy during WW2. You accomplished important work while stationed at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, including meeting the love of your life, my beautiful grandmother Ruth. I am sorry I never talked to you more about this time in your life, but I wish to thank you for your service to our country.


To my Uncle Ronnie who is no longer with us, I am sorry we never talked about your time in Vietnam. In the midst of that horrendous war, you joined one of the most challenging branches — the Marines. I understand that you left as a boy and came back as a man, forever changed. Looking back, I regret not thanking you, but today I want to say that you are a hero.


To my dad, Bo, you watched the example set by the men in your family, and instead of dodging the draft, you enlisted with needs of the Army and landed in Vietnam on your 21st birthday. You transmitted information from the Commander of the US Forces in Vietnam to President Nixon, which he communicated in the 1973 State of the Union Address. You recognize PTSD and encourage soldiers and veterans to communicate and seek assistance. Thank you dad, you will always be my hero.


About DAV

DAV (Disabled American Veterans) is a leading nonprofit organization that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families whenever they need it, transforming lives in positive ways.

DAV invites you to join them in their #ThankAVet mission, because when America’s veterans win, we all win. To learn more about DAV, visit

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of DAV. The opinions and text are all mine. While I am proud to support DAV and their mission, I have not been a beneficiary of DAV services.


Jackie Toops Head ShotA self-described “Jackie of All Trades,” Army wife Jackie Toops is a mother of two and enjoys writing, travel, art, languages, slow cooking and peaceful parenting. She studied Interdisciplinary Humanities, Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management, and has overseen public relations for museums, galleries and universities. She is a contributing author for Wall Street International Magazine and has discussed her articles on-air with AFN Wiesbaden. She’s usually seen adventuring with her Canon, a coffee and two small children. Follow her on Twitter.



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Krystel is the mom of two and an Army Wife. In addition to Army Wife 101 she is the Co-Founder of a digital media agency that connects brands with the military market. She has appeared on MSNBC ,FOX LA and formerly was a weekly contributor to HLN's "Raising America". She has written for various outlets including Sheknows and Lifetime and is a big fan of cupcakes and french fries.

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