Planning a Veteran Reunion

Planning a Veteran Reunion

There are all different kinds of reunions, and they all serve different functions. Sometimes it’s to bring the family together that doesn’t get to spend a lot of time together on a regular basis, and other times it may be a gathering of folks that went to high school together. We don’t hear about reunions for veterans as often, though, and these occasions are a fantastic way to commemorate a unique time of sacrifice and growth. If you’re in charge of taking care of the details for an upcoming veteran reunion, here are some things you want to be sure to consider.

Depending on the age of the veterans, you may opt to hold a reunion in a location that has special significance to this unit during a particular time during the war. Or, if that isn’t a feasible option, you’ll have to be creative in securing a location that will suit your needs. Either way, you’ll probably want to find out how many will be in attendance before you reserve a location so you’ll know that the venue will adequately take care of everyone who is coming.

To honor the occasion, it would be good to serve a nice meal. However, because the cost of the event will contribute to paying for the food, entertainment, and venue, you’ll want to carefully consider each of these details and come up with a price tag that will allow for a nice evening and still be affordable to those in attendance.

Because the evening is for veterans (and, depending on age range, not everyone may be able to drive), providing shuttle transportation to the event would be a nice service. Not only does this make it so that they don’t have to navigate heavy traffic or bad weather conditions (or whatever else!), it also means that as soon as the event is over, motorcoaches can provide curbside service to get them on their way.

These don’t need to be fancy or extravagant, but it may be fun to do a little research and come up with a creative way to represent the service given by the veterans. Maybe it’s a symbol that all of them would recognize from that time or a motto that was common in their unit. Whatever it is, finding a way to make it more personal is a way for it to be more meaningful to those receiving the invites.

Once you’ve taken care of the big details, you can start focusing on all the fun things: decorations, displays, and the activities for the event itself. Paying attention to details when you’re in this stage of planning is a great creative outlet, and, really, the sky’s the limit. Here are a few ideas for things you might do to make it memorable for the veterans who will be coming.

Get a great guest speaker. Maybe you want to have one of them come and talk about their experiences, or maybe you’d like to take more of a historical approach by having a local historian give background details on where the war was fought. It may be nice to have someone that didn’t serve in the area of the military that your unit is from come and talk about a different perspective from the same experience (i.e. having a speaker from the navy or Air Force come to talk to an army unit). Because they have the experience in common, another perspective offers additional pieces of the puzzle to give a more accurate picture of the whole time period. Regardless of which way you choose to go, it will likely be meaningful to them as they are able to reflect on their own experiences with others who can relate to them.

Create a newsletter.
This is something that would entail a bit of a time commitment to put┬átogether, but it might be a nice thing to gather details about the unit and what their lives have been like over the years. Details on marriages, life events, special awards or opportunities for additional service that members of the unit have had, or unknown stories of interest. Once again, because it’s a common experience for this group of people, and it isn’t very often that they get to talk with others who shared in that experience, taking time to create something like this would be meaningful and appreciated.

Additional presentation options. Even if you’ve secured a great speaker for the evening, you might want to think about collecting material for a video presentation as well. Maybe there are audio clips from the war that you could combine with photographs or other video footage to try to take them back in time. Or, maybe you’d rather focus on something quiet and moving, such as a series of still photographs that focus on a specific aspect of that time that you’re trying to encapsulate.

Lastly, collect memorabilia for displays and pieces of interest for the table centerpieces. Everything from large objects and recognizable symbols to smaller, more personal details are things that the veterans will appreciate. Attention to detail is a way you can show that you care and are trying to make this an event that will be memorable and personal to them. It goes without saying, but this may potentially be painful for these veterans as well, so it’s important to be factual and respectful in how you present the material that you collect.

It’s a special thing to be able to come together to commemorate an event that had a lot of significance in someone’s life. It’s kind of a sacred privilege as you honor the stories of the past and the sacrifice that was given. As you plan out the details of this event, we hope that these suggestions will help you create an evening that will be a blessing to the veterans who attend. If you need transportation for a great event like this, request a quote here: