Welcome to National Military Appreciation Month

National Military Appreciation MonthWelcome to National Military Appreciation Month. Will you join me in supporting and honoring those who serve?

Every year U.S. citizens are encouraged to observe the month of May in a symbol of unity, to honor the current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those who have died in the pursuit of freedom. The month of May is characterized by six national observances highlighting the contributions of each:

LOYALTY DAY – Sunday, May 1 (Yesterday)

We reaffirm our loyalty to the United States of America and reflect on our proud heritage of American Freedom

PUBLIC SERVICE RECOGNITION WEEK – Sunday, May 1 – Saturday, May 7 (this week)

Time set aside to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees.

VE DAY – Sunday, May 8

May 8th, 1945 is the day the Germans throughout Europe unconditionally surrendered to WW II Allies.

MILITARY SPOUSE APPRECIATION DAY – Friday, May 6

A day to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities. We recognize the important role our military families play in keeping our Armed Forces strong and our country safe. Who can you recognize and thank on Military Spouse Appreciation Day this Friday?

 

ARMED FORCES DAY  – Saturday, May 21

This day is celebrated the 3rd Saturday of May each year. It is a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.  This day honors everyone serving in the U.S. Military branches; Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy. I will be representing the American Legion Auxiliary this year at Northville High School’s celebration. Please come say hello.

MEMORIAL DAY – Monday, May 30

We remember our veterans and commemorate the men and women who died while in military service.

In honor of National Military Appreciation Month, I want to enlighten you to something, if you are not aware.

An average of 22 US military veterans take their own lives every day.

Yes. 22 per day. It’s staggering.

They served our country and yet are back home, lost in the aftermath, lost without hope, and choose to end things.

I recently learned about #22KILL. #22KILL is a campaign under the nonprofit Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. The founder of both HCC and #22KILL is a Marine veteran and the genesis behind the creation of HCC and #22KILL was from how he found personal success after transitioning off of active duty and into the civilian world.

The name was a little abrasive to me at first, but then I watched this video.  And I bought the ring for my trigger finger. And I made a commitment to up my game and get the word out.

22 US military veterans take their own lives every day. Honor Courage Commitment is an organization “committed to researching and understanding the genesis of this epidemic, and educating the general public on the issue. The #22KILL platform is in place to raise awareness not just towards veteran suicide, but also to the mental health issues that can lead to suicide. These issues stem primarily from conditions such as PTS and TBI, and struggles of transitioning out of the military.”

“One of the biggest challenges veterans face is finding a sense of purpose after service. #22KILL directly supports HCC’s veteran empowerment programs that help veterans maximize their talents and understand their value outside of the military.”

By choosing to wear a ring, I became part of Team #22KILL and committed to:

  • Research and learn about my local veteran service organizations and what their missions and needs are (As a member of and Secretary and Sergeant at Arms to my local American Legion Auxiliary post this is already a part of what I do, so I am upping my game).
  • Focus on veteran strengths and challenge negative attitudes around veteran “issues”.
  • Advocate for veterans in a positive light in any platform I have. (Guess what? You are going to read about it here from time to time).
  • Raise awareness to the issues of veteran suicide, and follow up with a positive solution through education and empowerment through programs offered from local nonprofits and veteran service organizations.
  • Believe that veterans are America’s greatest asset and learning to love them and showing them that I care!!!

How can you help?

  1. Support your local American Legion and Veteran’s of Foreign Wars posts. You can find more info about the American Legion here. You can learn more about the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars here.
  2. If you quality, join and volunteer for one of the organizations. Grandmothers, mothers, sisters, wives, and direct and adopted female descendants have the option of the American Legion Auxiliary or the VFW Auxiliary. Sons or grandsons of those eligible to be American Legion members have the option of the Sons of the American Legion.
  3. Become a Veterans’ Advocate and show your support with an Honor Ring.  100% of #22KILL  donations go directly towards veteran empowerment programs through Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. (official 501c3 tax-exempt charitable organization) and other partner nonprofit organizations. The purpose is to ensure that veterans are provided with the tools and knowledge to create an actionable plan upon leaving the service. This way, veterans are less likely to fall into what we call a “downward spiral” – which can include loss of identity and self-worth, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse.

My membership to and participation in my local American Legion Auxiliary post is my way of supporting those who served to protect the freedoms I enjoy today. In the spirit of Service, Not Self, it is the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.

Will you join me in supporting and honoring those who serve?

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