At LMD, we are honored to support the United States Coast Guard and Army National Guard, aiding in their recruiting missions. I have been the Account Director for the Coast Guard for the past several years. Working closely with the Coast Guard recruiting command, I’ve had the pleasure of touring and filming numerous air and small boat stations across the country and meeting hundreds of “Coasties.” A common theme that they’ve shared is the pride they take in their service, and the camaraderie and sense of family that military service provides.
All of us at LMD take great pride in recognizing May as National Military Appreciation Month. In the late 1990s, Senator John McCain pushed to designate the month of May by introducing formal legislation, which was easily passed by Congress and officially designated in 1999. Each year, the president will issue a proclamation to the American people to pay tribute to the brave men and women who serve in our military branches.
There are several specific military holidays in May that honor those who serve and their families, as well as veterans, including:
- Silver Star Service Banner Day (May 1): This day honors those who have received the Silver Star Medal, which is awarded for gallantry in action and is the third highest military decoration.
- Military Spouse Appreciation Day (this year, May 8): On the Friday before Mother’s Day, we recognize the spouses of military members. This holiday was first proclaimed in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan.
- Victory in Europe (VE) Day (May 8): This day celebrates the end of World War II on the European front, and has been celebrated every year on May 8 since 1945.
- Armed Forces Day (this year, May 15): Celebrated on the third Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day was announced in August 1949 by Defense Secretary Louis Johnson. This day was created to replace separate branch holidays.
- Memorial Day (this year, May 31): On the last Monday of May, we take time to honor and mourn all military personnel who died serving in the U.S. military.
Want to show your support for our military during National Military Appreciation Month? Here are a few ideas:
- Donate: There are a lot of organizations that aim to improve the lives of our soldiers and veterans. Check out the USO who work to support active-duty troops; the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides rehabilitation, activities, and career services to our wounded servicepeople and their families; or Disabled American Veterans, which offers a variety of services to those who have served. LMD has supported the military in the past by sponsoring soldiers and collecting food, games, and toiletries to be sent via Any Soldier.
- Support: Do you know someone who is serving or who has served? A great way to show support is to ask them about their service, what type of work they did, or their favorite memories. Don’t ask about traumatic events they may have experienced. Listen and show empathy. Also, if you know a veteran who needs assistance receiving their benefits, guide them through the process or lean on organizations who specialize in these services such as Veterans Angels. Another organization that can help veterans find jobs and even start their own small business is the Small Business Administration.
- Write: If you know someone who has served, send a simple note of appreciation and thanks. If you don’t know someone who has served, search for a local military installation and send a letter of support. You can also find organizations that will help you find a new military pen pal, such as Operation Gratitude or Soldiers’ Angels.