National Military Appreciation Month: How to Honor and Celebrate Service Members

National Military Appreciation Month: How To Honor And Celebrate Service Members

Why is Military Appreciation Month Important?

The United States Congress has designated the month of May as National Military Appreciation Month. This observance is meant to honor current and former Service members. It is a national reminder of the courage, determination and patriotism that all Service members display in fighting for and protecting the United States of America. The Senate asks U.S. citizens to observe the month "in a symbol of unity, to honor the current and former members of the Armed Forces, including those who have died in the pursuit of freedom and peace." As a result, this month is important for both civilians and Service members; it is a chance for the entire country to unite in support and celebration.

Notable Observances During May

The entire month of May has been dedicated to celebrating all members of the U.S. military. Here are the observances and holidays that are part of Military Appreciation Month:
  • Loyalty Day – May 1
  • Public Service Recognition Week – the first full week of May
  • Victory in Europe (VE) Day – ­May 8
  • Military Spouse Appreciation Day ­– the Friday before Mother’s Day
  • Armed Forces Day – the third Saturday in May
  • Memorial Day – the last Monday in May
This year marks the 20th anniversary of National Military Appreciation Month; in 1999, Congress designated May as a time to honor our Service members and their achievements. 

How You Can Show Your Support for the Military

There are many different ways to participate in National Military Appreciation Month. Consider these tips and encourage your friends and family members to do the same to make the month as special as possible. 
  • Tell any Service members or Veterans you know (family, friends, neighbors, colleagues etc.) how grateful you are for their hard work, sacrifices and accomplishments. Remind them of how important their service is to this country. Our gratitude and appreciation make them feel proud.
  • Learn more about the military’s history to appreciate how far the U.S. has come. Check out the U.S. Department of Defense’s website to learn more about the history of our country and the people who have helped defend it. Being informed is an important part of appreciating the U.S. military.
  • Participate in local events that take place in your community during Military Appreciation Month. Seeing their community members get together in celebration reminds Service members why they have chosen to dedicate their lives to preserving our freedoms.
  • Donate to charities dedicated to supporting Service members, Veterans and their families, such as Veterans Families United, National Military Family Association and Fisher House Foundation.
These gestures may seem small; however, they make a big impact on our Service members. Take these opportunities to show your gratitude.