It’s Veterans Day! In honor of this special day of recognition, Apex Leadership Co. reminds students of the power of thanking a veteran and showing respect for their service not just on November 11, but every day of the year. The Apex experts share the important leadership qualities that make veterans everyday heroes.

The military men and women that have served this great country made a choice. The decision they made to join the service to fight for America is nothing short of courageous, and courage is an incredible characteristic of leadership. Every day there are circumstances in which people of all ages need courage. For youth and students, this can be something seemingly small such as making a new friend or trying a new sport. But courage practiced now at a young age helps students build confidence — another powerful leadership quality. Dealing with difficult situations with courage and having the confidence to make quick decisions in the face of challenges are great lessons to be learned.

Veterans also showcase sacrifice. They are often on deployment and away from their families for months at a time or longer. They give up a part of their life to perform the duties asked of them by the U.S. Military. Being willing to sacrifice one’s own life in service and protection of another is certainly admirable. However, risk (generally on a smaller scale than one’s life) is part of life, and another great lesson for students to learn. Leaders of the world have to make tough calls and take risks in order to stand out from the rest. Learning how to make smart decisions and take calculated risks is extremely valuable for the leaders of tomorrow to develop today.

Respect is another important characteristic that veterans showcase. In every branch, there is a chain of command. Military personnel must respect that command and follow the direction of their leaders in order for their missions to be successful. While respecting the orders, veterans also have to learn to work as a team — with people they may have just met from all walks of life. This itself requires military personnel to be respectful of one another and to put differences aside to work together for the common goal. In life outside of the military, these are also extremely important assets for leaders.

Veterans Day recognizes the men and women who have put their lives on the line in service of this country, and this act of honor and bravery should never be forgotten. While some veterans may not need the big parades and celebrations, they likely welcome the appreciation and gratitude for their service from today’s youth.

Simply thanking a veteran for their service on Veterans Day is a great way to show appreciation. Calling or texting a grandparent, aunt, or uncle to thank them on this holiday will surely be remembered for years to come.