Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month in 1999 to ensure the nation was given the opportunity to publicly demonstrate their appreciation for the sacrifices and successes made by service members — past and present.
National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM) honors, remembers, recognizes and appreciates all military personnel; the men and women who have served, those who now serve in uniform, along with their families, as well as those who have given their lives in defense of freedom.
It recognizes those on active duty in all branches of the services, the National Guard and Reserves plus retirees, veterans, and all of their families — well over 90 million Americans and more than 230 years of U.S. history.
May was selected because it has most days set aside for celebrating and commemorating the U.S. military’s achievements. National Military Appreciation Month for May 2013 includes Loyalty Day (May 1), Victory in Europe Day (May 8), Military Spouse Appreciation Day (May 10), Armed Forces Day (May 18), and Memorial Day (May 30).
Each year on Memorial Day, the White House Commission on Remembrance promotes one minute of silence at 3 p.m. to honor the military’s fallen comrades and to pay tribute to the sacrifices by the nation’s service members and veterans.
Each year the president makes a proclamation, reminding Americans of the important role the U.S. Armed Forces have played in the history and development of our country. In Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell issued a proclamation recognizing May 2013 as Military Appreciation Month in the commonwealth of Virginia.
The Spring Tribute to Wounded Warriors Festival is billed as the largest event ever for Wounded Warriors, and tickets are free! The event takes place at the Great Meadow Event Center in The Plains, Va. on Saturday, June 8. There will be complimentary beer and wine tasting. Click here for your ticket.
In conjunction with the Spring Tribute Festival, the annual Mosey for Wounded Warriors will be held. Along with the many attractions of the festival (free cold beverages from Budweiser, air shows, car shows, music, etc.), you can compete in the Tipsy Tricycle Races, the Corn Hole Tournament and the Scavenger Hunt. Most importantly, this is an easy way to raise money for wounded veterans as you get sponsors to support your walk. Register to Mosey here!
Service members and their families are being honored during Military Appreciation Month with a variety of discounts.
Locally, military members can get discounted tickets to Nats home games.
HOLIDAYS AND EVENTS
Locally in the D.C. area, more than 200 veterans will participate in the 2013 Ride 2 Recovery, a nearly 325-mile ride from Arlington to Virginia Beach. The ride spans six days from May 27-June 1 and makes stops in Manassas, Fredericksburg, Richmond, Williamsburg, Ft. Eustis and Virginia Beach. People can ride, sponsor or donate to Ride 2 Recovery.
Numerous events saluting service members and their families are planned for May.
May is filled with holidays that honor the U.S. military. Observing a few more holidays is a way to pay respects during this year’s Military Appreciation Month.
WAYS TO HELP
One of the most direct ways people can help during Military Appreciation Month is to volunteer or donate, and there are dozens of programs to choose from.
There are many ways civilians can show their appreciation for service members, including these ideas from a service member’s family.
There is also an organization called, “Dog Tags.” It’s a mobile food truck operation that sells fast food in the D.C. area, while offering the opportunity to pay it forward to veterans. Get more information here.
The Fisher House program is a unique private-public partnership that supports America’s military in their time of need.
University of Maryland University College (UMUC) salutes our troops and thanks them for their service. Since 1947, we’ve made education accessible and affordable for servicemembers, reservists, veterans, and their families around the world. We participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, and our dedicated military advisors can help you make the most of your education benefits. Click here for more.