In addition to flowers, May is the month that was designated by Congress, in 1999, as National Military Appreciation Month.
The intent of National Military Appreciation Month is to provide the nation an opportunity to publicly show their appreciation for the sacrifices and successes made by all those who have served and continue to serve.
Since 1999, the president has made a proclamation reminding Americans of the important role our service branches play in both the history and the continued development of our country. As most know, the U.S. Armed Services also play an important role throughout the world with troops serving in over 50 countries.
As reported by Military.com, “May was selected because it has most days set aside for celebrating and commemorating our military’s achievements. These days include Loyalty Day, which was established in 1921, Victory in Europe (VE) Day commemorating the end of WWII in Europe on May 8, 1945, Armed Forces Day created in 1949, Military Spouse Appreciation Day established in 1984, and of course the best known of the May holidays, Memorial Day.”
Take a look around your community to see how you can get involved – there is most likely some event or ways you can participate should you choose. A quick shoutout to the Edmonds, WA community for truly embracing Veterans and their families – May is packed with opportunities to get involved – whether it be a fashion show, the Building Community Day at Edmonds Community College on May 9, the Memorial Day Tribute at EdCC on Memorial Day or the ceremony that takes place at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery (a bit of history: Edmonds Memorial Cemetery was placed on the Washington State Register of Historic Places in 1972 and has over 400 veterans interred).
Bottom line: Enjoy this month. Celebrate the excitement of spring and the nearing days of summer – and should you think of it, thank someone in uniform or someone who has worn the uniform. Be prepared, though. Most who have served consider it an honor and the fanfare – while appreciated – really isn’t necessary.
– By Michael Schindler
Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.