National Military Appreciation Month 2009

May 5, 2009

They come from all walks of life. They are of different races, different genders, different religious backgrounds, different shapes and sizes, have different educational backgrounds, different socio-economic backgrounds and sometimes even from different countries. They all however, have one thing in common - their service in the United States Armed Forces. Each year, for the past 11 years, the month of May has been set aside as National Military Appreciation Month.

How it all began…

National Military Appreciation Month started as a simple idea; to gather America around its military family to honor, remember, recognize and appreciate those who have served and those now serving and to know the history behind it all. This idea was then legislated twice to achieve greater national attention and recognition.

The first legislation was in the United States Senate in 1999 designating May as National Military Appreciation Month. With the support and sponsorship of Senator John McCain, (R-AZ) and Representative Duncan Hunter, (R-CA) of San Diego and over 50 veteran service organizations, this important and timely legislation tells our service members that their country has set aside an entire month to honor, remember and appreciate them. In April of 2004, more comprehensive legislation was passed by unanimous consent of both Houses of Congress, H. Con. Res. 328, that May is National Military Appreciation Month and urges the President to issue an annual proclamation calling on the American people to recognize this special month of May through appropriate ceremonies and events.

A group of volunteers has been working for 10 years towards preserving May as National Military Appreciation Month; from Washington D.C. to California and even Iceland, people came forward to help support this goal. Instrumental to achieving these results from early on is Duncan Munro, MSgt USAF (Ret) who has served as National Events Coordinator and supported the website for all these years. Michael Fleming from Los Angeles works diligently as the Public Relations and Media Contact to promote and encourage participation worldwide; Alice Wax worked for passage of related legislation and Shauna Fleming is serving her fourth year as National Spokesperson. She continues to appear on radio and television shows and has visited to the Oval Office while working on her own goal of collecting 2.6 million letters of appreciation for our troops through A Million Thanks. Other military support organizations have also embraced NMAM to include Rebels With A Cause, Armature Radio Military Appreciation Day (ARMAD) and The Thank You Foundation.

Most intriguing to National Military Appreciation Months success is that it’s built from the ground up by a handful of volunteers with a genuine desire to build public patriotism and support for our troops and veterans.

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. Unfortunately, it is common for many families to be neither aware of nor value and understand the service given by those in their own families, many of whom are of the “Greatest Generation” or even the call to duty, honor and country we see now. Schools no longer teach those military events that turned the course of history. We are slowly losing our connection to our own American history. Names like Pearl Harbor, San Juan Hill, Civil War, Belleau Wood, Continental Army, 38th Parallel, Berlin Airlift, Tet Offensive and Normandy are rapidly losing their significance to the general American population, particularly our future generations – our youth.

Because most holidays commemorating historical military events have become little more than three-day weekends lacking focus on their original purpose, this month is needed to remind us of the sacrifices and the history we as Americans have been privileged to participate in throughout the past 230 years.

Through appropriate means and incentives, 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 via multiple venues, giving the nation a time and place upon which to focus, draw attention, and express our appreciation and thanks to our military family.

Due to military deployments worldwide protecting our national interests, Americans are being asked to serve. Employers are being asked to accommodate lengthy absences by key employees. Our military represents the highest caliber of professionalism and technology. We ask them to willingly risk their lives on a moments notice; should we not willingly and openly recognize their contributions and their sacrifices as well.1

Throughout the month of May, there are several very significant dates to remember, though any day should be a day that we give thanks for our military members and show our appreciation to them. Specific events across the country, have been scheduled to coincide with these dates:

May 1 is Loyalty Day.
May 8th is VE Day
May 9th is Military Spouse Appreciation Day
May 16th is Armed Forces Day
May 25th is Memorial Day

You may ask what you can do to show your appreciation for our military members throughout this month. Many events have already been scheduled, so by checking your local community events calendar, you can find out what’s been planned in your local area. If there is nothing planned for your area, why not plan something yourself?

Another place that you can check to find out what activities are scheduled in your local area, is the National Military Appreciation Month website. On the website, you’ll find suggestions for events, a map of the US which you can click for your state, to find out what events are happening there, as well as photos and information about National Military Appreciation Month. I encourage you to visit the site.

As a nation, we observe and participate in various national cultural and social awareness events through mass media attention and educational curriculum. However, we have not allocated appropriate recognition of the most important presence in the world today, an entity that impacts each and every American in a significant way, the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM), as designated by Congress, provides a period encompassing both the history and recognition of our armed services with an in-depth look at the diversity of its individuals and achievements. It allows Americans to educate each generation on the historical impact of our military through the participation of the community with those who serve encouraging patriotism and love for America.

This month gives the nation a time and place on which to focus and draw attention to our many expressions of appreciation and recognition of our armed services via numerous venues and also to recall and learn about our fast American history.

National Military Appreciation Month (May 2009) includes Loyalty Day (1st), VE Day(8th), Military Spouse Appreciation Day (8th), Armed Forces Day (16th), and Memorial Day (25th). This very important month honors, remembers, recognizes and appreciates all military personnel; those men and women who have served throughout our history and all who now serve in uniform and their families as well as those Americans who have given their lives in defense of our freedoms we all enjoy today.

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 our nation’s history. Let us celebrate them just as we celebrate the other important entities that make up this wonderful country of ours.2

The Defense Department is participating in various events, along with America Supports You, such as the McDonald’s Air & Sea Show in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, the Joint Services Open House at Andrews Air Force Base, Md, as well as the Professional Golfer’s Association events across the country. ASY will also hosted a concert featuring singer Jenny Boyle at the Pentagon on May 4th. NASCAR is planning to unveil an ASY car at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charolotte, NC on May 8th. The Discovery Channel is also producing a series of “Thank You’s” for the Military Channel, in which people from across the country will be “thanking the troops” for their service.3 I’m excited to see these spots.

I encourage you to get involved and really let our military members know how much they’re appreciated. Appreciating our military members, is more than just slapping a $2-3 magnet on the bumper of your car or a bumper sticker that states “I Support Our Troops.” Show them something more tangible. There are tons of ideas at the NMAC website. Be creative and do something that will send the message without a doubt, that you appreciate what our Troops do for our country. Below, is a video tribute that I did a couple years ago, to Hank Brake’s song “Thank You.”

  1. []
  2. []
  3.,15240,134360,00.html?ESRC=marinenews.RSS []


3 Responses to “National Military Appreciation Month 2009”

  1. Topics about Discovery-laboratories » Archive » National Military Appreciation Month 2009 on May 6th, 2009 12:45 am

    [...] The TV Legion added an interesting post on National Military Appreciation Month 2009Here’s a small excerpt…in Charolotte, NC on May 8th. The Discovery Channel is also producing a series of “Thank You’s” for the Military Channel, in which… [...]

  2. Topics about Go-greener » Blog Archive » National Military Appreciation Month 2009 on May 6th, 2009 2:53 am

    [...] ataxingmatter placed an interesting blog post on National Military Appreciation Month 2009Here’s a brief overviewThey come from all walks of life. … shapes and sizes, have different educational backgrounds, different socio-economic backgrounds and sometimes [...]

  3. Bill Doughty on May 6th, 2009 2:33 pm

    The Sea Services — Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard — are reaching out to communities to recruit, retain and reward diversity. The outpouring of support from civilian communities for our military is heartwarming, and the military is proving to be a welcoming place for everyone, no matter gender, ethnicity or background. Reflecting all of that — Outreach in San Diego last week. Read more:

Got something to say?