Most people think of Memorial Day as May’s holiday for the men and women who have, do and will protect our country. Don’t forget about Armed Forces Day! In fact, the entire month of May is the USA’s National Military Appreciation Month.
Saturday May 16, 2015 is Armed Forces Day. So: please thank and keep good thoughts for our US service men and women (and their families) this weekend. (Find out more about Armed Forces Day and how to help our sailors, soldiers and marines and their families below).
What is Armed Forces Day?
Since 1950, the third Saturday of May has been celebrated as Armed Forces Day: a day to pay tribute to men and women who serve the United States’ armed forces. Armed Forces Day is also part of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May.
It is meant to honor men and women in the US Armed Forces during times of peace (and unfortunately, we’re not there yet) and war. It honors all members of the US Army, US Navy, US Marines, US Air Force and US Coast Guard as well as National Guard and Reserve units.
President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.
On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.
In 1999, the US Senate first passed a designating May as National Military Appreciation Month, which encourages U.S. citizens to observe the month in a symbol of unity, and honor the current and former members of the armed forces, including those who have died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.
What You Can Do
Along with putting your money to a good cause (see below for A+ rated agencies below that are recognized for excellence in serving our active service members, vets and military families), here’s some ideas from http://www.wikihow.com/Celebrate-US-Armed-Forces-Day. Show your respect, and have a fun family outing while teaching your children how to honor those who protect us at home and abroad.
- Attend a military air show.
- Attend a parade
- Make and send a care package to troops overseas
- Fly the US Flag
- Donate your time or money
No spare cash? Call your local VA center and see if they need volunteers, such as drivers for those who need to go to doctor and other appointments or whatever else they may need: manning food pantries — each area has its own needs and procedures)
We’ve highlighted these before, but we always check to see these agencies have maintained their status and to add new ones. We don’t think these can possibly get too much attention.
Military Charity Associations
Members of the military community — veterans, active-duty, reserve, National Guard, or their family members — benefit from several types of charitable associations and organizations. These charitable organizations can provide advocacy, emergency assistance, grants, counseling, and other types of direct and indirect support.
The following is a directory of charity associations and organizations. BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU GIVE MONEY. For every legitimate charity, there are scores of con-artists or badly run organizations that waste much of your donation.
Service Specific Aid and Assistance Organizations
- Air Force Aid Society (Air Force Aid Society/ Air Force Assistance fund Drive)
- Army Emergency Relief (Army Emergency Relief: dedicated to “Helping the Army Take Care of Its Own.”)
- Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (Yes: USCG serves overseas from the Tigris/Eurphrates, around Cuba and elsewhere)
- Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society (now actively seeking volunteers for workshops, thrift shops to knitting)
There Are NUMEROUS Other Agencies
Much as we’d like, we can’t go through ALL the various charities, so in addition to the ones listed above (which are officially sanctioned by the respected entities), here’s some of our favorites:
Fisher House Foundation
According to their website, “Fisher Houses provide military families housing close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.” Actually, they are being modest. Did you know that during the government shut down in 2013, Fisher House was the entity that housed and flew families in to meeting wounded and killed warriers?
An EXCEPTIONAL private organization.
And yes, this is one of our personal favorites for those who aren’t necessarily affiliated with any one branch of service. Fisher House’s motto: “Because a Family’s Love is Good Medicine.”
National Military Family Association
NMFA is the voice of military families because, for 45 years, we have proven that we stand behind service members, their spouses, and their children.
(Shame on us for forgetting this one.)
Did We Miss A Charity You Think We Should Include?
If you think we left something important out, please let us know by leaving a comment. These are the ones we’re most familiar with: it is by no means a complete list. We’ll consider all requests and add appropriate ones.
Warning: please DO NOT spam this page and if the charity is not 100% on the up and up, note we do report any and all scamsters to Federal criminal authorities.