Remember the Past, Support the Present

Every year, Americans celebrate Memorial Day, a day we remember those who died during active military service. People enjoy a day off, fire up the grill, and talk about family members and friends who served our country. It’s important to reflect and honor the men and women who fought and sacrificed their future for our freedom because, as the American idiom goes, “Freedom isn’t free.”

Now is a good time to think about our veterans as well. We should remember that many of our veterans today may be suffering from ailments of active duty.

Veterans, of all ages and service arenas, may be dealing with hearing loss. Below are some ways you can assist a veteran, family member or friend who may be struggling in silence.

While communicating with someone with hearing loss, maintain eye contact. This forces you to face the person and allows them to use visual cues. Also, make sure you don’t cover your mouth with hand gestures or food as it will make it more difficult. Be careful not to over-exaggerate your words as this can also distort what you’re trying to say. If you need to repeat yourself, try rephrasing it in a different way. The most important tip is to be positive and have fun socializing. Anyone with hearing loss will appreciate it as well.

It is important that we stay aware and be compassionate towards others who may be struggling to participate in or understand a group conversation. This Memorial Day, while you remember the brave men and women who served our country and lost their lives for it, be aware of others around you. What better way to honor those that have passed than to treat those that are still with us with dignity, respect, and kindness.

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