National Military Appreciation Month is celebrated in May every year to honor the selfless servants of this great country. Regardless of branch, service members work selflessly overseas and on the home front to guarantee that we remain the home of the free. What better way to honor them than spending an entire month in appreciation?
Here are 7 AWESOME ways to show your appreciation for Service members who are currently serving, prior military and those who died fighting while brave. These tips work all year long, so don’t worry about cramming them all in for the month of May!
PAY RESPECTS AT A VETERAN CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL
Cemeteries and memorials can be an eerie thing. Some people cringe at the thought of visiting such a sacred place ESPECIALLY with kids. However, if you can find it in your heart to go, I highly encourage taking the time to do so. There are few things that give you a sense of American pride like standing at the memorials or graves of brave men and women who sacrificed their own lives for our country. If you choose to spend only a second saying thank you or make a day to read the engraved stories of our fallen heroes, I doubt you’ll regret the experience especially during National Military Appreciation Month when a lot of these sites host ceremonies.
For those with kids, visiting memorials can be a daunting task but we’ve got you covered. Travel blogger Courtney Blacher from The World in Four Days took her 8- year- old daughter to Pearl Harbor for an amazing hands-on learning experience and one on one history lesson from the mouths of amazing veterans. Click HERE to find out how she made this experience fun and engaging for her daughter! Washington DC is a great option for those willing to take the trip. There are notable sites like Arlington Nation Cemetery, Marine Corps Memorial and Disabled Veterans memorial to name a few. Also, know that you don’t have to break the travel account for the experience. Most Military bases have memorials even if they are small so check your local active base for more details.
VOLUNTEER AT THE VA OR VETERANS HOME/HOSPITAL
If you have free time in your schedule, a great way to show your appreciation is through volunteer work. Volunteering at the VA or a Veteran’s Home or hospital gives you direct contact with some of our nation’s finest. Not only will you get the chance to serve those who once served you but if you’re lucky, you’ll get to make connections and hear some amazing first hand stories. For the athletically inclined, the Department of Veteran Affairs is always looking for volunteers to assist with the Veteran’s National Games. This could be such a fun and fulfilling experience for everyone in your family to participate.
SEND LETTERS AND CARDS TO DEPLOYED SERVICE MEMBERS OR VETERANS