Month of May Dedicated to Appreciating Servicemembers

By Carmen L. Gleason
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2007 - In an effort to draw attention to the personal sacrifices of the men and women of the armed forces and their families, Congress has designated May as National Military Appreciation Month.

The congressional resolution, passed in 2004, states that the House and Senate "support the goals and objectives of a National Military Appreciation Month." It urges the president to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States, localities, organizations and media to annually observe the month with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

The months of May and June host a number of other patriotic commemorations, including Victory in Europe Day, Military Spouse Day, Loyalty Day, Armed Forces Week, Memorial Day, Flag Day and the observance of the Navy and Army birthdays.

A group of National Military Appreciation Month volunteers have been working for nine years to establish a month dedicated to the nation's active duty personnel including National Guard and Reserve troops, in addition to retirees and veterans. They are encouraging communities throughout the nation to participate in commemorative events.

"Our military has played a major role in the development of our country chronicled through their unbending honor, their dedication to duty and their love of country," the National Military Appreciation Month Web site states. "Federal, state and local governments and private sector entities are invited to participate in this special month and to encourage everyone to sponsor and participate in programs."

The Web site encourages citizens to draw attention and express appreciation to military families across the nation by engaging schools, civic organizations and businesses to organize events like visiting veterans hospitals, making trips to military memorials and museums, and decorating with patriotic themes.

The Defense Department is taking part in the month-long celebration with America Supports You, a DoD program highlighting the support of grassroots groups and corporate partners to the armed forces, co-hosting events throughout the nation.

The program will take part in events like the McDonald's Air & Sea Show in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; the Joint Services Open House at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.; and several NASCAR and Professional Golfers' Association events across the nation.

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