May: Military Appreciation Month

Here are some ways to show gratitude on four military appreciation days this May:
May is National Military Appreciation Month, making it a great time to show appreciation to active duty military members and veterans. There are over 2 million active duty members of the military and reserves, and according to the US Census Bureau there are over 19 million veterans in the country. There are millions of those who have served our nation, deserving the appreciation this May, and numerous ways to show it.

“The strength of our great nation comes from our military strength and the dedication of the men and women that serve, making it crucial that we do everything we can to show our support and gratitude,” explains Nicole Motsek, executive director of the EOD Warrior Foundation. “We should show our gratitude everyday and May is a great month to make added efforts to support our active duty personnel and our veterans.”

Some of the recognition days this month include:
May 1, 2016 – Loyalty Day (affirming loyalty to the country)
May 6, 2016 – Military Spouse Appreciation Day
May 13, 2016 — Children of Fallen Patriots Day
May 21, 2016 – Armed Forces Day
(We’re not forgetting Memorial Day, May 30th, but that day’s focus is on those who have died, not the appreciation of those currently serving.)

Here are 7 ways to show appreciation to actively serving military members and veterans this May:
*Support and Donate to a charity. Choose a charity to support, such as the EOD Warrior Foundation, which helps EOD veterans and military families. There are a lot of military and veteran charities that fill important gaps that are government does not and none can accomplish their mission without the financial support of the public.
*Donate a few hours per week or month helps takes the stress off of smaller organizations and allow them to accomplish more without outlaying salaries. Volunteering also often gives you a great feeling of pride.
*Host a fundraiser. Find a specific cause that you care about, such as helping ensure children of fallen EOD Warriors have opportunities for higher education, host a fundraiser to support the EODWF scholarship program. There are several innovative ways to fundraise from community garage sales, pie baking cook-off, or other such events.
*Hire a veteran. Many veterans have a difficult time transitioning back into civilian life. You can help make it easier by giving them an opportunity for a job. Veterans are well disciplined employees with great work ethic and commitment to mission success.
*Support veteran-owned businesses. According to the Census Bureau, over 9% of businesses are veteran-owned. Seek out local ones in your community are and share the news with others.
*Visit a VA hospital. If you have a VA hospital near you, stop in and visit the patients. There may be things you can do to brighten their day, such as reading to them, playing board games, or delivering some fresh-baked snacks.
*Help a veteran or active duty family. Many active duty military servicemen and women away from home, there are families in need of help. Find a family in your community, and offer to deliver a home-cooked meal, make small home repairs, mow the lawn, or run errands.
“There are many things that we can do to help show our appreciation and support to those who help keep our country safe and free,” added Motsek. “If everyone just does one thing this month to help active duty members or veterans it would add up and make a big difference.”

The EOD Warrior Foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps military EOD personnel and veterans and their families. There are around 7,000 EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) technicians on active duty, performing the most dangerous job in the military as they disarm explosive devices on the battlefields.  For more information about the EOD Warrior Foundationvisit the site at: http://www.eodwarriorfoundation.org/take-action.

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