Celebrate National Military Appreciation Month With These Ideas

In 1999, Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month. In addition to Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day and Military Spouse Appreciation Day, all of which take place in May, this month-long celebration gives us the opportunity to show our support and gratitude to all the men and women that sacrifice so much for our freedom.

We all know the pivotal role U.S. Armed Forces service members play in keeping our nation safe. These brave men and women spend extended periods of time away from their families, miss out on their children’s milestones, and sometimes lack access to things that we tend to take for granted. They deserve all the gratitude and respect in the world, which is why it’s so important to show our appreciation every chance we get.

There Are So Many Ways to Show Your Support

There are so many ways to show your support for our military. Below are some ideas. As a bonus, many of these activities are a perfect way to kick off your summer learning.

  • Check out a few age-appropriate books from the library related to the military or military homeschooling  to read with your children.
  • Write thank you notes or drawings to give to service members.
  • Since National Military Appreciation Month falls around summertime, plan a picnic and invite local service members and their families. Have your children write thank you notes and create drawings they can share. This year, you may need to be creative with this activity due to health guidelines related to the pandemic.
  • Send letters of encouragement to veterans in hospitals and nursing homes.
  • Donate food, gently-used clothing, and even furniture to needy veterans in your community.
  • If you’re part of a homeschool group or co-op, organize a breakfast or lunch and invite local service members. You can also ask them to speak about their experience in the military.
  • Take field trips to local military museums, memorials, forts and other similar points of interest.
  • Attend a military event in your community such as a memorial, parade, remembrance run, or airshow.
  • Inquire with your local Veterans Affair (VA) hospital about volunteering your time or visiting veterans to provide companionship.
  • Know a military spouse of a deployed soldier? Offer to help with things like babysitting, cooking, groceries or any other chores he or she may need assistance with.
  • Whenever you see a veteran or an active service member say ‘thank you for your service’.
  • Send care packages to military personnel abroad. A few ideas on what to include: toiletries, nonperishables, reading materials, playing cards, and stationery.
  • Wear patriotic colors (red, white and blue) and/or display your American flag at your home or business.
  • A random act of kindness for a military family can go a long way: you can pick up the tab for their meal at a restaurant, chip in for their groceries, or pay for their cup of joe at the coffee shop.
  • Offer words of encouragement to parents whose son or daughter just enlisted. The transition can be difficult for everyone, and knowing they have your friendship and support can help them get through those first few months.

Showing our gratitude to military personnel isn’t something that should be reserved for this special month. Everyday is an opportunity to do a good deed. And with summer around the corner, why not use the free time to continue to celebrate our men and women in uniform?

Have more ideas to make our military feel appreciated? We would love to hear them! Share them in the comments below.

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UPDATED April 29, 2021