HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Celebrating holidays during the coronavirus pandemic continues to be a challenge. And this year, Veterans Day will be no exception.
But the holiday is an opportunity for military families to thank those closest to them, and for everyone to remember the men and women who have served.
Lakia Harris, from Henrico County, served in the U.S. Army from 2002-2005. She said going to Kuwait was one of her most memorable trips.
Harris said because of the pandemic, she’s going to spend this Veterans Day, a little differently this year.
“I usually go out and take advantage of the free meals and meet and greet with other veterans,” she said. ” But this year, due to COVID-19, I will be staying home with my kids.”
Harris said it’s necessary for children to know the importance of Veterans Day. Even in the middle of a pandemic, she said children can still participate and celebrate veterans — perhaps maybe more.
“Because of COVID, children can visit veterans in their neighborhoods maintaining social distancing guidelines,” she said. “Making signs for Veterans, so they can see they are appreciated.”
Additionally, she said if children have a form of transportation, veterans would love if you thought about them at Hunter Holmes McGuire Medical Center.
“If their parents are available, they can take them to McGuire with some signs and some noisemakers,” Harris said. “And let the veterans know they still think about them and that they are not forgotten even during the pandemic.”
Daryl Braxton, of Henrico County, served 12 years in the U.S. Army Reserve and worked 44 years for the Department of Defense. He said Veterans Day for him is about reflecting and remembering.
“I like to take Veterans Day as a moment to reflect and thank those in uniform. That was my passion while in the Army Reserve.”
Braxton also spoke about the value of children appreciating the services those in uniform make on a daily basis.
He said he’ll be talking to his grandson on November 11, as he does every year, reflecting on his time in the Army Reserve.
“I love my grandson and love talking to him about life, but I will allow him to make the decision about whether or not he wants to join the service when he’s old enough to do that,” he said.
For Braxton, this Veterans Day will be different compared to last year when he was honored at his grandson’s school along with other military families.
This year, he’s going to spend the holiday alone, while keeping the men and women in uniform in his prayers.
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