This may come as a shock, but Memorial Day is not about beer or burgers. (I’ll pause to let this to sink in.) While both are surely important American traditions, this long weekend is actually a celebration and remembrance of those who gave their lives to protect our nation and our freedom.

We are talking about men and women whose values and courage drove them to serve and protect not just their own families, but also every fellow American and our livelihoods for generations. They had our backs, even if it meant risking theirs. Those values alone make these people worthy of remembrance, but it’s also those values that make living veterans equally as deserving of celebration, respect and support from their fellow countrymen and women – today and every day.

So, while a cheers of our beers is nice, I’d like to propose a more impactful way to celebrate Memorial Day. How about we make the ‘American Dream’ a reality and put our money where our mouths are by empowering veteran owned businesses, startups and entrepreneurs?

Set a goal to do more business with veteran owned companies, then get out there and give them your business. It’s that simple. Let them know you’re thankful they had your back while serving in our nation’s armed forces, and now that they’re home, you’ve got their back as well. Here are a few ways to get started:

Support new ventures.

Veterans are clever, innovative and determined. No wonder they’ve founded some of the hottest startups from logistics software to workforce telematics to cyber security. Tap into their know-how to help build both their business and yours. Here’s a list of top 10 veteran startups to watch out for, but there are plenty others out there, so keep your eyes and ears open!

Look local.

Finding veteran owned small businesses (VOSB) or disabled veteran owned small businesses (SDVOSB) can sometimes feel like finding a needle in a haystack. Fortunately, the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hosts a list of VOSB and SDVOSB. Search by State/Territory and then filter by City, Zip or even Business Type to help narrow your search and find veteran owned options in your area. Companies listed range from printing to construction to professional services and beyond, and they’re all verified by the VA.

Think broadly.

Supporting veteran owned businesses doesn’t just mean buying products from them. Think about the firms you tap for legal counsel or waste services. Who are your nonprofit partners? Your production studios or web developers? You’d be surprised at how comprehensive the veteran owned business network truly is. This Veteran Owned Business Directory is maintained by a member network and provides an easy source of references across any industry.

At Rubicon, we’re dedicated to empowering small businesses, particularly veteran owned. So I invite you, as you’re making plans for beers and burgers this holiday weekend, make some plans to truly celebrate the actions of those who have kept our nation safe and enabled your own business to prosper. Then give a little back and let them know this time around, you’re here for them.

References made to businesses and organizations in this post does not imply endorsement of or by Rubicon in affiliation with those businesses or organizations.