I read about the coolest lesson on this blog. Give it a look. When I taught the Vietnam War to my classes I struggled with how to personalize it for the students. They think wars are video games. I decided to show them my Vietnam Service Medal. I hesitated to do it because I didn't want them to think I looked at myself as some kind of war hero. They were impressed.
I want them to realize that their freedom of speech and rights as American citizens came about and are preserved because soldiers fought and died for those rights. It's a lesson that most Americans seem to have forgotten.
That's why I thank every military person I see. I remember when military personnel weren't too highly thought of. It wasn't a pleasant time.