From the NFRW Armed Services Committee
By Mary Smart, CAPT USN Ret (HI)
Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month in 1999 to ensure the nation was given the chance to publicly show their appreciation for troops currently serving and for those who served in the past. The first month long observance was celebrated in May 2000.
There was a time during Vietnam conflict years (1960s-1970s) and afterward that the public showed outward distain for military personnel, many of whom were required to serve against their will due to the unpopularity of that war and the perceived unfairness of the Selective Service system. Since 1973, our nation has been protected by an all-volunteer military force.
We are grateful that young, healthy citizens willingly choose to serve in one of the military services. They deserve our respect and appreciation. Volunteer service members have served during war and conflict and endured long separations from their home and loved ones. When duty calls, servicemen and women work long days and weekends with no additional compensation.
There are many ways to show appreciation. Businesses often give discounts to military personnel during this special month. A “thank-you for your service” is always welcome. Those who have some time and want to go an extra mile should consider volunteering at a local veteran’s organization, especially at a veteran’s hospital.