Armed Forces Day: Awareness and Appreciation

As a current active-duty military spouse, I jumped at the chance to write this blog about Armed Forces Day for our Dailies community. It’s exciting to share a bit of our community with you!

What Exactly is Armed Forces Day?

While there are various other military-related holidays throughout the year (think Memorial Day, Veterans’ Day, Marine Corps birthday, etc.), Armed Forces Day is really about creating awareness and appreciation for our different military branches. It is a day that is intended to honor the service members who have promised to defend the United States and who offer their lives (among countless other sacrifices) in defense of our American freedom. These servicemembers, and their families, serve something greater than themselves in order to preserve our United States country, values, culture, and freedom.

When is Armed Forces Day Recognized?

Armed Forces Day is generally celebrated each year on the third Saturday of May. However, due to their unique training schedules, National Guard and Reserve units might actually celebrate this day over any other day or period in May. 

Who Started Armed Forces Day?

Our former United States president, Harry S. Truman, is the one responsible for leading the effort to establish a day for uniting to thank our military branches and members for their service in protecting our country. In 1949, Louis Johnson (who was the Secretary of Defense) announced the creation of one Armed Forces Day to replace the numerous days that were already established to honor the Army, Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force separately. This was done with the intention to unify the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense. 

Sharing Armed Forces Day with Your Children

While there are many ways that you can educate your kids about the military and their sacrifices, we have some suggestions for ways you can recognize Armed Forces day with them.

  • Explain the Armed Forces and what they do
    • The Armed Forces include different military branches and members in numerous roles that work together to protect our country, keep us safe, defend our freedom, and to help other people in other countries.
  • Have a conversation about why we celebrate them
    • We use this day to show the military servicemembers how much we appreciate all that they sacrifice and give up for people that they don’t even know. While we don’t thank them as often as we should, we see and honor all that they do for us.
  • Share some interesting facts and information about the military branches
    • Google whatever aspect of the military your child is most interested in and do some research together. Are they interested in knowing the types of weapons and machinery the military uses? Do they want to know more about where different military branches are stationed? Do they care to learn more about how the military has served our country in the past wars and battles? Are they interested in knowing about the uniforms that the different military branches wear?
  • Express gratitude for the military
    • Working together with your child, you can have them think of a way that they would like to show thanks and appreciation for anyone you know who may serve in the military. If you don’t know of anyone, there are plenty of organizations online (or locally) that can help to connect you with those who would appreciate your thanks! Your child might opt to create a drawing or card, write a letter or message, make a baked good, or any other way that would let our military know that they are being recognized and remembered.

As long as you are recognizing our military branches in a positive light, you can’t go wrong with the way you choose to make the most of today!

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