May is Military Appreciation Month: How can you show your gratitude?

Armed Forces Day is May 21st, celebrating the men and women who serve in the armed forces.

May was introduced as National Military Appreciation Month in 1999 by the late Senator John McCain. If not for these heroes’ sacrifices, we would not have our rights and freedoms as U.S. citizens. 

“This will remain the land of the free so long as it is the home of the brave.”

–Elmer Davis

Ways to show appreciation:

If you are an employer or faith community leader, consider:

To learn more, click here and here.

If you are a neighbor or community leader, try this:

To learn more, read “Beyond ‘Thank you for your service:’ The Veteran Champion handbook for civilians.” Click here.

Other simple ideas:

Say “Thank you for your service and sacrifices” and ask how you can support them during and after military service. Follow through! Honor them with words and actions!

Ohio State Rep. Adam Miller with U.S. Army Veteran Eric Sowers in front of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio.

Get to know Military/Veteran neighbors. Invite them for coffee, dinner, or a walk/run.

Take some time to get to know Service members and Veterans as people. They’ll appreciate it.

Host a celebratory event in your neighborhood, work or place of worship.

For example, host a military induction ceremony for high school seniors. This is a photo from Mayor Weiers Induction Ceremony in Glendale, Arizona for 200 youth.

Conduct a care package drive at your school or church.

Christ Church of Fountain Hills’ Vet Connect Military Ministry hosted a care package drive for two Sailors and one Airman.

Invite Service members/Veterans to share their stories and lessons learned from military service.

This was my presentation on May 2, in honor of Military Appreciation Month.

Other commemoration days in May honoring military service:

Military Spouse Appreciation Day is May 6th, celebrating these unsung heroes who serve and sacrifice alongside their service members, helping keep our military strong.

Victory in Europe Day (VE) is May 8th, remembering the end of World War II in Europe when Britain and its Allies accepted Nazi Germany’s surrender.

Memorial Day is May 30th, honoring and mourning military personnel who died serving in the U.S. military.