Military Appreciation Month
While most people look forward to Memorial Day as a way to honor and celebrate the sacrifice and service of our American armed forces, it’s important to remember that the entire month of May is dedicated to the members of our military.
May is Military Appreciation Month, officially designated by Congress in 1999. In addition to Memorial Day, the month of May includes several military holidays, such as Loyalty Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, VE Day, and Armed Forces Day.
Culminating on Memorial Day, the last Monday of May, Military Appreciation Month provides Americans with several opportunities to acknowledge the U.S. military’s historical sacrifices and efforts to protect democracy both at home and around the world.
Loyalty Day – May 1, 2021
Loyalty Day was first acknowledged in 1958 as a way to reaffirm loyalty to the United States and to recognize the heritage of American freedom. While a lesser-known military holiday, it has been acknowledged by every U.S. president since 1958 and typically includes an official presidential proclamation. For 2021, Loyalty Day falls on May 1.
Military Spouse Appreciation Day – May 7, 2021
Military service members aren’t the only ones who make sacrifices to serve our country. Military spouses play an integral role in our nation’s full military system.
Military Spouse Appreciation Day provides an opportunity to show our appreciation to all military spouses. The Friday before Mother’s Day was originally recognized by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 as a special day to honor military spouses. Each sitting president typically issues a proclamation honoring military spouses on this day, and celebrations of military spouses are held on military bases all over the globe. In 2021, Military Spouse Appreciation Day falls on May 7.
VE Day – May 8, 2021
Victory in Europe (VE) Day marks the end of World War II on the European front. Celebrated on May 8 every year, VE Day has become a momentous and often emotional remembrance of the worldwide price paid to stop Adolf Hitler’s agenda.
Armed Forces Day – May 15, 2021
Armed Forces Day is celebrated each year on the third Saturday in May – in 2021, it falls on May 15. The occasion marks the unification of all branches of the armed forces under the Department of Defense. In 1949, Armed Forces Day replaced previous individual Army, Navy, and Air Force appreciation days.
Military Appreciation Day
Though not a formally recognized holiday, many areas take advantage of Military Appreciation Month to host a Military Appreciation Day within their communities. Dates for these celebrations often vary. Local communities may host parades, picnics, and other celebrations to recognize their local active duty, National Guard, reserve, and military Veterans.
Memorial Day – May 31, 2021
Military Appreciation Month ends with Memorial Day on the last Monday of the month. For 2021, Memorial Day is on May 31. This is the day set aside for recognizing and mourning the military lives lost in service to the United States armed forces. Originally conceived after the American Civil War, Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971.
Military Discounts Throughout May
In recognition of Military Appreciation Month, many retailers may offer special discounts to Veterans and active-duty members of the armed forces. From sporting goods and home improvement stores to entertainment venues like zoos and amusement parks, many national, regional, and local businesses use this month to show their appreciation for the service of our military.
May is a significant opportunity for American active-duty military members and Veterans. We hope you take advantage of all the benefits you deserve in recognition of your service. If you’d like to see what VA disability benefits you qualify for, call us at 888-988-3837 or click here to get started.