smiling soldier holding army certificate frame in front of american flag

Did you know that May is National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM) in the United States of America? In 1999, Congress selected the month of May due to its high concentration of military service-related celebrations. They include:

  • Loyalty Day (May 1st, established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower)
  • Victory in Europe Day (May 8th, marking the end of World War II)
  • Military Spouse Appreciation Day (the Friday before Mother’s Day, established by Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States)
  • Armed Forces Day (the third Saturday in May, enacted by President Harry S. Truman)
  • Memorial Day (established in 1868 by General John A. Logan as the last Monday in May)

NMAM’s aim is to “reflect upon the sacrifices made by members of the United States Armed Forces and to show appreciation for such service.” Instead of a single day celebrating their service, the month of May is an ideal time to show our appreciation to those dedicated to military life. Let us give our respects to those who are in the military or have been before.

How can you show your appreciation this month? Thanks to nonprofit organizations that devote their time and energy to our U.S. Military members, showing your gratitude is easy. Here are five ways to honor our veterans, active duty members, and their families.

operation care package

1.) Send a care package.

Contact Operation Gratitude to find out how to help. You can lift the spirits of new recruits, U.S. service members deployed overseas, and America’s wounded heroes. Packages contain snacks, toiletries, magazines, games, DVDs, and personal letters of appreciation.

military volunteers

2.) Volunteer for veterans.

Reach out to DAV Volunteers for Veterans, a nonprofit charity. Learn how you and your family members can offer your services to our nation’s heroes. DAV is always looking for volunteers. They need people to drive veterans to their VA hospital appointments, run shopping errands, or deliver meals.

If you belong to a fraternity, sorority, or campus service club, contact DAV to see how you can help veterans in your college’s community. College clubs can volunteer their time to VA hospitals, reading books to patients or doing crafts or games. Some local veterans may need volunteers to perform general housekeeping tasks or maintain their lawns and gardens.

In addition to volunteering your time, consider making donations to charitable organizations that directly assist veterans. Paralyzed Veterans of America is located in Washington, D.C. It advocates for veterans with spinal cord injuries, disorders, and diseases like MS and ALS. PVA provides legal, medical, and caregiver services, as well as adaptive sports programs and a special committee devoted to women veterans.

3.) Honor your loved ones’ achievements.

Do you have friends or family members who have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or Air National Guard? Celebrate the dedication of our nation’s military this month.

Our licensed military shadow box frames featuring the official seals of each U.S. Military branch. Or, create an instant family keepsake that will preserve generations of service awards for years to come in military medal display case. Or, help a military family commemorate a loved one on Memorial Day with a shadow box for flag.

Purple Heart Medal frame hanging on a gold wall

4.) Offer military discounts.

If you own a business, consider offering a discount to active-duty military personnel or veterans during Military Appreciation Month. This is a wonderful way to show your appreciation to our service people. Offering discounted goods or local services is a great way to give back to your community.

Church Hill Classics celebrates National Military Appreciation Month by offering 15% off all military frames and gifts. Anyone can use promo code MILITARY2024 to celebrate the service members in their lives. In addition to certificate and photo frames for all five branches of the U.S. Military, we also carry commemorative gifts. These include personalized flag cases, military shadow boxes, and medal cases to celebrate those who gave their lives to our country.

WW2 veteran speaking to class

5.) Organize a school event.

Whether you’re a college student or high school student, talk to your dean or principal about creating on-campus or community fundraisers for programs like the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), a charitable organization that supports veterans who’ve incurred physical or mental injuries while serving in the military. The WWP offers a student ambassador program with a range of fundraising ideas for all ages, from implementing bake sale campaigns in elementary schools to hosting dance marathons and campus carnivals as part of sororities and fraternities’ annual philanthropic events. You could also reach out to your local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post to request guest speakers for your school or to find out how students can donate food or clothing to veterans in need.

6.) Participate in a military-themed activity.

During the month of May, many states and counties hold 5k runs or walk-a-thons to raise money for veterans. You can also attend memorial services and candlelight vigils for fallen military members. Some states may stage reenactments of local battles or conduct historical tours. These are great ways for children and adults alike to learn more about U.S. history and the importance of our armed forces.

college students painting fence

7.) Help a military spouse.

Consider the many ways your and your family can help lend a hand to the spouse of a deployed service member. Offer to mow their lawn, babysit, paint a fence, rake leaves, make home repairs, and make freezable meals. Taking on a few simple chores can really help lighten the load of a parent struggling to do the work of two people.

National Military Appreciation Month is an ideal time to salute our American heroes and thank them (and their families) for their sacrifices. But don’t limit your appreciation for the United States of America military members to a certain number of days or a month of a year. Be sure to show your gratitude to our servicemen and servicewomen this month and all 365 days!

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