We all recognize a salute.
One hand raised to the brow. A hat removed. A hand over the heart. Rising from our seat at a baseball game to lift our voices in unison. A somber three-volley or the last sign before takeoff. A deferential callout on a coach or flight. Or the round of applause in a school assembly, honoring family standing in uniform.
Why do we do this? What’s in a salute?
As a marker of respect and recognition, the salute is a widely acknowledged gesture. Even across different geographies and cultures, its fundamentals remain the same. The right hand is brought to the forehead or the brim of the head cover in a gesture of respect, allegiance, and camaraderie.
In the face of sacrifice, the salute becomes a small yet powerful symbol, signifying a debt that cannot be fully repaid. But where did it all begin? How did this gesture find its roots, and where was it first recorded?
Many believe that the salute first arose as a signal of peace, a gesture that you’re not carrying a weapon in your right hand, typically the weapon hand. Others have popularized the theory that it first arose when medieval knights raised the visors of their metal helmets to identify themselves to their superiors.
Later, as military headgear grew more complex, it became an expedient method for recognizing superiors without the need to fully remove headgear. The American salute closely follows the British sailor salute first established in the 1700s, with palm down.
In all cases, it is a gesture of respect and allegiance that honors its recipient, from the American flag to the President of the United States.
At WeSalute (founded as Veterans Advantage), we recognize the profound spirit embedded in the salute. For us, it goes beyond a gesture. It’s our very reason for being.
Day in and out, we work to extend a heartfelt salute for the contributions and sacrifices of our American active service members, veterans, and their families. Each one of them has made sacrifices in the name of our nation. By actively recognizing and uplifting their contributions, we aspire to create a powerful ripple effect within society—a wave of gratitude and support that inspires others to join in honoring those who embody the true spirit of service.
We do this by forging partnerships with leading corporations that give us the opportunity to offer great discounts and benefits to our active service members, veterans, and their families—all of whom can be WeSalute members.
We advocate for veterans, connecting them with local support networks and with job advice and opportunities.
And we foster the community of those who serve, bringing us together across distances and generations, to honor, encourage and inspire one another.
In doing so, we hope to lay the foundation for a future where service to others is celebrated and revered, creating a harmonious society built upon the pillars of gratitude and solidarity.
To all our members and those we look forward to welcoming, today our name has changed, after 25 years as Veterans Advantage. But our mission is one that will always remain the same:
To see your sacrifices recognized.
And your Service. Saluted.