May 16th Armed Forces Day

Always celebrated on the 3rd Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day is a day to honor those that serve to protect us and so that the public can get to know how those services operate. Most armed services provide a public viewing of the history of the service’s history at bases set up for the day. Today was set up by a Presidential Proclamation under Harry Truman on Feb 20th, 1950 and was first officially observed on May 20th, 1950. American armed forces include the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines (A part of the navy) and the Coast Guard. These men and women are due our respect and should be honored for their service.

How to celebrate – Visit an open base for Armed Forces Day. Thank a soldier for what they do. Read about what all the branches do to keep us safe.

May 28th Memorial Day

May 28th Memorial Day

B5yFdVrarjBcLBmq2AZc-pcu0aZkNOIgXYoxTqoOqGKr5kn0NzqP861p_orvVwuZ5wnkg305HOHI8pUmN5POSDdsPKqkR7iNjIeqUmtz1M6Iitj1SqWrKWMPOv90pcWmI1UjEl75vscz=w451-h326-nc

Today we remember those who have perished in the defense of our country during their military service. It is the supreme sacrifice in order that others may live free, not something we should take lightly.

Civil_War_Battle_Scene_1887_William_T_Trego-58ecfff95f9b58f11927de21

The day came after the Civil War, first known as Decoration Day when Southern families remembered their dead by placing flowers and other decoration on the graves. Since 1971 it has been known better as Memorial Day.

tomb_primary

How to celebrate – Remember the fallen who fell for you. Visit the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Honor those who still serve in the military.

April 20th Volunteer Recognition Day

Today is the day we officially recognize those that volunteer for the benefit of others. You might be surprised just how many volunteers there are. We are surrounded by them, people who give out of the goodness of their hearts, the need to give back or the desire to pay it forward. Doesn’t really matter, they willingly seek to help other people, animals and the environment.

images (1)

There are volunteers in the medical field, military, schools, police… even in grocery stores. People willing to help others without asking anything in return. In a world where so many are out for themselves, it’s nice to know there are still those who put others above themselves.

300px-Kosynierzy_1920

In the past, there were volunteer armies that protected the borders and if need be, fought for a way of life and to defend their friends, families and neighbors. Those volunteers required other volunteers to feed them, look after their health and supply them with the goods needed to fight.

9c9cb3808802363e3f9ccdd643b6627b

Many of our fire departments are made up of volunteers. Firemen started out in America as citizens band together to protect each others property. They grew from protecting the block they lived on to the neighborhoods, cities and counties that surrounded them. Today they travel to different states to help protect people they don’t even know.

1491234172822

The world would be a lot more complicated and stressful if not for these volunteers, no matter what cause they serve. You should take the time to thank them and recognize all they do, which is probably a lot more than you realize.

How to celebrate – Find an organization near you where you can volunteer. Throw a volunteers party. Start your own volunteer organization.

May 20th Armed Forces Day

Nearly every country in the world owes their existence to the men and women who fought to allow civilians to live where they live, countries to grow where they have grown and civilization to thrive where it has been born. War is not brought on by soldiers, it is brought on by politics that get out of control or greed that civilians create. Yet it almost always seems to be the soldier that pays the ultimate price.

USS_Essex_109-12r_2520x1800

Britain ruled a great deal of  the world by the deployment of it’s Navy, America has enjoyed it’s freedom because of the Navy and even the great empires of history have had powerful navies, even when landlocked.

Coast Guard Boat in Morro Bay, CA 04 Dec 2007

And while the Navy protects us from large scale land invasion, the Coast Guard keeps us safe from those that might slip through the cracks. They also protect us from many of the stupid things we do, like sailing without life preservers and letting the fuel run out when we go boating.

female-marines-10k-17-mar-2017

Armed Forces Day was created by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson on August 31, 1949. It was announced by President Harry Truman on February 20th, 1950. Then finally celebrated on May 20th, 1950. It honors all our fighting forces, the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard for their service from day one in America.

www.AviationExplorer.com

Now I know to many of you it may get old to thank our military as much as we do. Honestly though, we cannot thank them enough, ever. None of us would be here if not for them. Most of the countries would not exist without them. And oddly enough, there would never be peace without them.

1484824_-_main

How to celebrate – Thank every uniformed serviceman/woman that you see today for your life. Thank any retired serviceman/woman for their past service. Fly your flag proudly, whatever country you are in, the idea of your flag is the freedom you’ve been given and the soul of every soldier who has ever fought and died for you.

May 6th Military Spouse Appreciation Day

Our military personnel are stationed all over the world, many in extremely dangerous areas. Imagine being married to one of those heroes and realizing that you might not see them for up to 3 years or more while they are deployed, and in extreme cases, maybe never again. Not only do you lose your lover, your best friend, and your confidant, but you gain all the responsibilities they were forced to leave behind. The rent still has to be paid on time, groceries still have to be bought, cars have to be maintained, in other words… life goes on. It’s hard enough for two people to make it in life today, let alone one with little to no support. Now maybe you add a child or two to the story and things get even tougher,  or maybe you have a relative that you care for that has some sort debilitating health issue.  They all still have to be taken care of.

images (12)

And when the Soldier/Sailor/Airman returns, just when things are supposed to get easier, what happens if they return wounded or missing limbs. Did you know that 30% of all military personnel returning from a combat area suffer from PTSD? (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)  Now the nights become suffering through reoccurring nightmares and days living with the constant reminders and struggles the soldier has been afflicted by. Its as though they have brought the war home with them and are living it over and over everyday, and their loved one has to become a part of it as well.

487237jxrqdi17zl

Really when you think about it, when you send one person over seas (man or woman) you are actually sending their spouse and children, their mothers and fathers grandparents, brothers, sisters, etc. with them in many ways.  The difference is, your tax dollars aren’t paying for any of them directly. The military isn’t housing all of them directly and emotionally. No one is attending their to their welfare. The one who suffers the most, is the spouse. They are the ones waiting by the phone or dreading the knock on the door, hoping that call or telegram doesn’t come, and have no one to hug away their fears and tears. I am sure we can all agree that family is wonderful but no matter how much they try, no matter how much they succeed, they are not the lover, not the best friend, nor the true confidant.

images (10)

So give it up for the military spouse like Ronald Reagan did when he created this holiday in 1984.  They are the unsung heroes, they are seldom patted on the back and no one gets up and claps for them when they walk through an airport.  Military personnel are due all the respect they get, and more, but so are their wives and husbands waiting for them to come home.

How to celebrate:  Find someone who is a spouse of someone serving and take them to dinner.  Sit and listen to them, let them pour out their hearts to someone who cares.  Watch their children so they can have a day to themselves to do whatever they want.

March 25, 2016 National Medal of Honor Day

It is National Medal of Honor Day. A medal created for “personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.” Created in 1861 for the Navy, the Army soon followed with its version in 1862.  An Air Force Medal of Honor was created during World War I.  To date, over 3,500 Medal of Honors have been awarded to military men serving their country’s needs.

There were few medals offered prior to the American Civil War.  In 1780, the Fidelity Medallion was offered to veterans of the Revolution.  For those who went above the call of duty another medal was awarded in 1782, called the Badge of Military Merit.  In 1847, a Certificate of Merit was awarded veterans of the Mexican-American War.

This is truly a holiday that does not get the recognition in the mainstream that it deserves. Congress declared this day a National Holiday in 1863 when the first Medal of Honor was awarded for Jacob Parrott’s actions during the Andrews Raid. Of the 24 Raiders only 6 members received this honorable distinction for their role in the “Great Locomotive Chase“. Oddly, Andrews could not receive the award since he was a civilian and the award was distinctly meant to be offered only to military personnel. Eventually the The Medal of Valor was created for civilians.

Other Medals of Honor were given out to civilians by mistake.  Buffalo Bill received one that was later taken back, as well as Mary Edwards Walker, though hers was restored by Jimmy Carter in 1971.

The most recent Medal of Honor awarded was on February 29. 2016 to Edward C. Byers Jr., U.S. Navy Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator for his role in the US Navy SEAL operation ENDURING FREEDOM, freeing American hostage Dr. Dilip Joseph.

220px-Medal_of_Honor_Flag_with_Gold_Fringe.svg

Above is the Medal of Honor flag awarded with the Medal of Honor

 

So in honor of this day:

Fly your American flag proudly

flag

Visit the Great Locomotive Chase Andrew’s Raiders Monuments and Markers in person or virtually

armonument

Thank a service member or vet for all that they do or write a Thank You Letter to a Medal of Honor Recipient

ty

Watch the Walt Disney Film the Great Locomotive Chase

glc