May 1st is Silver Star Service Banner Day, a time to recognize those who have been awarded The Silver Star Medal and remember the sacrifices of our wounded and ill veterans. The Silver Star is described as the third-highest military decoration for valor in combat.
Silver Star Service Banner Day is a time of recognition related to the Silver Star medal, but not exclusively dedicated to it. Silver Star Service Banner Day pays respect to those who have received the Silver Star but is more broadly associated with service members who have been affected by combat.
According to Defense Department records, the Silver Star is an award created as the successor of something known as the Citation Star, which was created in 1818. The first authorization for the official use of the Silver Star was in 1942. The Silver Star medal is awarded for specific actions in combat. Silver Star Service Banner Day is a recognition of those who have been wounded, sickened, or killed in combat in general. The tradition of the Silver Star service banner is about as old as the Silver Star itself; according to several sources, the display of Blue, Gold, and Silver Star banners began in 1818.
A Congressional resolution was passed in May of 2010, formalizing Silver Star Service Banner Day. It is listed as an “Official Day to honor wounded, ill, and injured veterans.” Private agencies and veterans service organizations such as The Silver Star Families of America formed to recognize, and help wounded and ill veterans and currently serving military members
National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day on April 9th honors the courageous men and women who endured brutal treatment at the hands of their captors. As a result, they also suffered separation from family and displayed incredible endurance and faith during their captivity.
On this day in 1942, the largest number of U.S. Forces were captured by Japanese troops in the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines. After battling through extreme conditions and prolonged battles, the captured troops were forced to march 65 miles to the prison camp. Without medical attention, food or water thousands died. The mistreatment continued for those who survived the brutal journey. In the compounds, deep in the unfamiliar jungle, the hardships, brutality, and suffering lasted more than two years for those who could survive.
Since the Revolutionary War, over half a million service members have been captured. This number does not reflect those lost or never recovered. However, each POW endures conditions much like the ones described above. These heroes deserve a day of recognition.
In 1984, a movement led by former POWs began seeking a day recognizing for former Prisoners of War on April 9th each year. In 1988, Congress approved legislation setting April 9th to commemorate the date the tragic number of captives were taken prisoner on Bataan. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed National Former Prisoners of War Recognition Day on April 1, 1988, through Presidential Proclamation 5788. He set the observance for April 9, 1988. Since then, through legislation and Presidential Proclamations, the observance carries on. These men and women deserve our respect and profound gratitude.
The terms Gold Star family, Gold Star Spouses, and Gold Star Wives traditionally refer to the surviving loved ones of military members killed in the line of duty in combat. Gold Star Spouses Day was created to honor these loved ones.
This recognition of the sacrifices made by military spouses is a memorial for the fallen, a day of remembrance for the survivors, and an appreciation for those who are sometimes in danger of being overlooked for their support and service to the country.
The Gold Star is a tradition that began during World War One; service flags were flown by military families during this time, with blue stars for every family member serving in uniform. If one died, the blue star was replaced by a gold star. This allowed members of the community to know the price that the family had paid in the cause of freedom.
The tradition of Gold Star Spouses Day began in the early part of the 20th century as Gold Star Mother’s Day, observed on the last Sunday of September beginning in 1936. An organization known as Gold Star Wives began operating before the end of the Second World War, and the Gold Star lapel button tradition was established in the summer of 1947.
All of this set the stage for Gold Star Spouses Day, which began as Gold Star Wives Day-the first of which occurred in December 2010. Two years later a Senate resolution codified Gold Star Wives Day, observed on April 5 each year. Today the event is known as Gold Star Spouses Day, though many still use “Gold Star Wives Day” interchangeably with Gold Star Spouses Day.
If you know any surviving spouse of any person of the United States military who died while a member of the armed forces of our country, or who died after such service because of an injury or disability incurred during such service, please extend your heartfelt gratitude.
April is designated as Month of the Military Child – a time to honor the sacrifices made by military families worldwide, with an emphasis on the experience of the dependent children of military members serving at home and overseas.
Like many similar military recognition efforts, the Month of The Military Child is often celebrated “internally” with military communities and military association planning contests, parades, fairs, seminars, and special events centered around the message of the month. It is also celebrated “externally” by many communities, schools, and organizations.
Approximately 2 million military children have experienced a parental deployment since 9/11. There are currently 1.2 million military children of active-duty members worldwide. The average military family moves three times more often than their civilian counterpart. There are nearly two million “total-force dependent children” including more than 900 thousand Army dependents, 400,000 Air Force dependents, nearly 300,000 Navy and approximately 118,000 Marine dependents.
Since many of the April events are sponsored by military communities, to learn more it is best to start your search for events with the base Public Affairs office, Military Family Readiness Centers, Department of Defense Dependent School admin offices, and even on-base Child Development Centers.
Vietnam Veterans Day commemorates the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and their families and is part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home more than 40 years ago.
The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, which was signed into law in 2017, designates March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It is not an official holiday. Most states celebrate “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” on March 29 or 30 of each year. Though there is some debate, March 29 is generally viewed as a more appropriate date. On that day in 1973, the last combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam and the last prisoners of war held in North Vietnam arrived on American soil.
Lasting from 1955 to 1975, the Vietnam war engulfed the Southeast Asian country of Vietnam, as well as its neighboring countries, Cambodia and Laos. It resulted in several million deaths, most of whom were Vietnamese civilians. The conflict began during the 1950s when the struggle between the country’s communist northern part and the anti-communist south escalated. The United States began its military involvement to back the South’s effort to quell the communist onslaught, which, at the height of the Cold War, was feared to promote the spread of communist ideology and influence worldwide. During the war, about 500,000 US troops were dispatched to Southeast Asia, about 58,000 of whom were killed. The conflict ended in 1975 with the fall of Saigon and the victory of North Vietnam.
More than 350 members of American Legion Post 178 are Vietnam veterans.
1st Vice Commander and Nominating Committee Chairman Rick Redden recently named two committee members: Terry Meyering, Finance Officer and Ed Reed, 2nd Vice Commander-Public Relations.
The Nominating Committee will have the responsibility to identify member candidates for the thirteen Post Executive Committee (PEC) officer positions. The term of office for all PEC officer positions is one year (July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022).
An email notice of the annual election will be sent to all members around mid-April. The election and installation of officers will be held at the June 14 Membership Meeting.
All officer candidates must complete a Post Executive Candidate Filing Form and meet all the following requirements:
Be a current (paid) member of The American Legion and Post 178
Has completed the online ALE Institute American Legion Basic Training Course
Has a DD – 214 on file with the Post Adjutant
Possesses a strong desire to serve
Is committed to performing the requirements of the elected position
Will attend monthly PEC and Membership meetings, and
Will participate in the post’s activities throughout their tenure
Nomination forms must be submitted no later than at the May 17 Membership Meeting.
If you are interested in “putting your hat in the ring” to run for an officer position and to request a Filing Form, please contact Rick Redden at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-385-0205.