Events May 6, 2024

United in Gratitude in May: Celebrating National Military Appreciation Month

Remember when I mentioned there was so much to love about the spring near Wright-Patterson AFB?

Here’s another significant reason: May is National Military Appreciation Month, a special month for the entire military community and its supporters. It’s a time to recognize the dedication and sacrifice of our servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

National Military Appreciation Month has history traced back to World War II. In 1945, May 8th marked the end of World War II in Europe, a day known as Victory in Europe Day (VE Day).

In 1999, Senator John McCain proposed the month-long observance, and Congress officially declared May as National Military Appreciation Month. May was chosen because it is a month with multiple military-connected observances, including Loyalty Day and Memorial Day.

Since then, each year, the president presents a proclamation to the country, reminding the citizens about the importance of the role of the U.S. Armed Forces in our country and around the world.

Military Appreciation Month Observances

Month of the Military Caregiver

Month of May

Chances are you know someone caring for one of more than two million veterans nationwide. This day sets time aside for those who tend to them each day.

Loyalty Day – May 1

On Loyalty Day, all citizens are asked to reaffirm their loyalty to the country and contemplate our American heritage.

Public Service Recognition Week – May 5 through Saturday, May 11

This week is set aside to honor the government employees who serve the country at the federal, state, county, and local levels.

Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day – May 8

This day marks the end of World War II when the Germans surrendered to the Allied Forces.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day – May 10

Military spouses across the globe are celebrated and honored for their contributions to serving the country.

Children of Fallen Patriots Day – May 13

Military kids are the unsung heroes of military service. This day recognizes the sacrifices and struggles the children of fallen heroes face.

Armed Forces Day – May 18

Armed Forces Week celebrations often set the stage for Armed Forces Day. The observance asks American citizens to recognize and thank currently serving military members of all branches for their service.

Memorial Day – May 27

Memorial Day is all about remembering our veterans. The holiday solemnly commemorates servicemembers worldwide who gave their lives to military service. Some memorials plan moments of silence at 3:00 p.m. local time.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Military Appreciation Month Events

We’re lucky to have a strong military community and supportive neighbor agencies that hold amazing events for Military Appreciation Month. Keep these outlets in mind and search their calendars. They’ll schedule poignant ceremonies and festive celebrations throughout May to recognize military members and their families.

If you can’t attend an organized event near you, there are countless ways to show appreciation for our military heroes throughout May. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    – Connect with fellow service members.
    Plan a cookout, potluck, or social gathering with your unit or service members nearby.
    – Volunteer.
    Dedicate time to giving back to your community and connecting with civilians who appreciate your service.
    – Reach out to veterans.
    Many veterans organizations hold events throughout May. Attend a ceremony, volunteer at a veterans’ hospital, or reach out to a veteran you know and express your thanks.
    – Participate in local events.
    Many communities organize parades, festivals, and other events to honor veterans and service members.
    – Take some time for yourself.
    Military life is demanding. Use this month to prioritize your well-being. Read a book, listen to music, or enjoy a favorite hobby.

While May is a designated time for appreciation, remember that the respect and gratitude you deserve extends far beyond a single month. Here are some resources available to you year-round.

    – The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The VFW offers various programs and services to veterans and their families, including healthcare assistance, financial aid, and advocacy.
    – The American Legion. Another long-standing veterans’ service organization, the American Legion, provides support and resources to veterans, active duty military personnel, and their families.
    – Military OneSource. This Department of Defense program provides comprehensive information and resources on topics relevant to military life, including deployments, finances, education, and relationships.

National Military Appreciation Month is a time to celebrate the incredible men and women who serve our country. We can all make a difference by participating in events, volunteering our time, and simply expressing thanks. Remember, a grateful nation deeply appreciates your family’s service.

From my military family to yours, thank you for your sacrifice and dedication. It’s my honor to serve you.