Monday, Nov. 11, is one of our country’s most important federal holidays. Veterans Day is an opportunity to honor all the men and women who have defended our country. Please thank these brave Hoosiers and Americans for their time, sacrifices and dedication to protecting our freedoms.

There are countless ways to say thank you and show your appreciation for the nearly 550,000 living Hoosiers who have served in one of our five-strong military branches. Consider volunteering at a veterans’ organization, such as a local VFW or American Legion, or buy a meal or cup of coffee for a veteran, or simply show your patriotism and fly your American flag.

In Indiana, we value our veterans and want to help them build a strong foundation as they return from service and resume civilian life. Our Next Level Veterans program provides these men and women the tools and resources to put the skills they gained in the military to use in our growing workforce. Learn more at In addition, through Indiana’s Veteran-Owned Small Business Program, we are ensuring some of our state contracts go to veteran-owned businesses, promoting the entrepreneurial roots our veterans are starting across Indiana.

To help veterans get access to all their benefits, the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs launched a new online portal recently. Veterans, spouses, and dependents can check eligibility for several benefits without an appointment or wait on hold over the phone. Visit to learn more.

This holiday is not the same as Memorial Day, where we remember and pay our respects to those who gave their lives. Veterans Day is dedicated to every member of our armed forces, whether they served during times of peace or war, including all past members of our world’s best and most proud defense teams, those who are still living and the ones who have passed away.

We have been thanking veterans on Nov. 11 for 100 years. While the name of this important holiday changed over the decades, the meaning of it has always stayed the same. The men and women who have served in our armed forces are the reasons we have the freedoms we get to enjoy each and every day. This Veterans Day, please thank a veteran for their service, with a handshake or hug, or shop at their business or offer them a job on your team. To all our veterans, thank you for your courage and commitment to our community and country.