National Military Appreciation Month is celebrated every May and is a declaration that encourages U.S. citizens to observe the month in a symbol of unity.  It honors current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those who have died in the pursuit of freedom. May is characterized by numerous observances highlighting the contributions of those who have served.

The idea 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. May was chosen because it already has many individual days set aside to recognize the U.S. military’s achievements.

In 1999, the late Senator John McCain introduced formal legislation to designate the month of May as National Military Appreciation Month. Both the Senate and House of Representatives adopted resolutions calling for Americans to recognize and honor U.S. Service Members during the month. These resolutions also urged the President to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe May as the National Military Appreciation Month.

Because most holidays commemorating historical military events have become little more than three-day weekends lacking focus on their original purpose, this month is to remind Americans of the sacrifices and the history we have been privileged to participate in since the nation’s birth. During the month of May, the public and the military are encouraged to support local engagements designed to draw attention and illustrate support, appreciation and thanks to the military family.