This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The Folger Coffee Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

As Veterans Day approaches this year, you’ll probably note a variety of sales and promotions along with reminders to say “thanks” to veterans. Frequently I feel like I could do a bit more to share my  appreciation for the service and sacrifice our veterans have provided. With that in mind, I was thrilled to be asked to join with Folgers and Walmart to spread the word about their Share a Cup & a Story program. What better way to honor the vets in our lives than making it personal with them and honoring their service by engaging with them?

2016-10-17-08-14-44Even though I’m married to a veteran, I’ll admit that amid our hectic schedules sometimes Veterans Day passes without pausing to reflect they way I’d like to. Spurred by the Folgers and Walmart Share a Cup & a Story program I’ve decided this year will be different. To say thanks to my husband, my son and I will be sitting down him over a hot cup of coffee, and asking my husband to share more stories about his time in the service. While I know fragments about his time stationed in Korea and Germany, taking the time to learn more and really listen is a great way to deepen my appreciation for his experience, assure that his time in the Army isn’t forgotten, and demonstrate my gratitude. So many of our friends stem from my husband’s time at West Point and then his time in the service. Now that my son is old enough to appreciate the information Share a Cup and a Story will be a fantastic way for us to make that connection and understand why those friendships run so deep.

This Veterans Day over a cup or two of Folgers, I’ll also be sharing my grandfather’s story with my husband and son to honor his service. While my grandfather was alive, he would only rarely mention his time as a tank commander in Europe during World War II. For him, although the war included receiving a Purple Heart and Bronze and Silver Stars for valor in combat, many of the war’s specifics were too difficult to discuss. He believed that raising three wonderful children and working his way from teller to bank president was another victory over Nazi Germany and the challenges faced in battle. I feel very fortunate that after he had passed away, my father took the time to speak with his friends and fellow vets and assembled his wartime photos, documents and articles. Without these, the details of his service might have been lost to us. My husband and I believe that it is important to transmit details about our family’s legacy of service to our son.  In sharing his story with my husband and son, I’ll be honoring his service and assuring his story lives on.

My Grandfather 1944

On Veterans Day, it would be great for everyone to reach out to someone in your life who’s served and listen to their stories and experiences. If you are inspired by the Share a Cup and a Story Program  but are wondering how to ask a veteran about their service why not invite the vet in your life to chat over a cup of coffee? Some questions to get the conversation started are: How long did you serve? Remind me what branch you were in? Why did you pick that branch? What did you do in the military? Where were you stationed? Did anyone else in your family serve? What was your favorite thing about serving? Sometimes combat veterans are like my grandfather and don’t want to share their combat stories. Starting with these kinds of questions can help you express your interest and support without being intrusive.

This November I’ve resolved to a little extra and make sure I take a trip to Walmart to 2016-10-12-18-25-00grab some Folgers Coffee and ingredients for my husband’s favorite brownies. I’ll also make time so we can sit down together to talk and share. The Folgers and Walmart Share a Cup and a Story Program gives us the opportunity to go beyond the customary. Let’s engage the Veterans in our lives and show them how we care!

For more information visit the Folgers and Walmart Share a Cup and a Story program here and follow the hashtags #sharefolgers and #veteransday on social media.