military appreciation month
General Military Questions

Military Appreciation Month: 7 Things To Know

Military Appreciation Month takes place every May.

The entire month is reserved for military personnel along with veterans that have served this great nation.

Service members never take a break from serving the United States so, truthfully, military appreciation should take event year-round.

Regardless, let’s acknowledge what makes Military Appreciation Month noteworthy.

Related ArticleMilitary Spouse Appreciation Day: 3 Things You Need To Know

#1. Purpose

military appreciation

National Military Appreciation Month is a tradition every May.

The month-long observance is dedicated to active duty service members along with military retirees and veterans.

Therefore, it’s important to acknowledge this special event and demonstrate appreciation toward a fellow service member.

Military Appreciation Month was established in the late-20th century to acknowledge the tremendous service of troops.

For this reason, it’s recognized along with other holidays reserved for the military (i.e. Armed Forces Day, Veterans Day).

The military anniversary remarks an incredible accomplish as well as sacrifice service members make for their country.

Therefore, Military Appreciation Month is designed to recognize military personnel of the following branches along with the contributions of spouses:

  • U.S. Army
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • Marine Corps
  • U.S. Navy
  • Space Force

The history of Military Appreciation Month is recent as the observance became official in 1999 (more details, below).

#2. History

The U.S. Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month in 1999.

The observance was created to generate more public support for the amazing sacrifice of service members and spouses.

As a result, the month is May a special opportunity to demonstrate support for military personnel.

It’s crucial to recognize troops – past and present – for their duty to the country.

Military Appreciation Month was established by the late-Senator John McCain.

Senator McCain proposed the month long observance as another national holiday / observance (more information, below) supporting the military.

Military Appreciation Month became official on February 9, 1999.

The military awareness campaign was the proclamation made by President Clinton.

Each year, the president makes a proclamation reminding Americans about the vital role U.S. Armed Forces play in protecting the nation.

In May 2000, the month long observance was celebrated for the first-time.

Congress selected May because several other military observances, like Memorial Day, are also acknowledged in that month.

Often, people confuse Military Appreciation Day with Military Appreciation Month, so what’s the difference?

#3. Military Appreciation Month vs. Military Appreciation Day

military appreciation day celebration

Military Appreciation Month happens over a month (May).

Meanwhile, Military Appreciation Day occurs every August 31st.

What is the difference?

The day-long celebration is comparable to the month long observance.

However, the history of Military Appreciation Day actually date back further (1949, to be precise).

The traditions of the military holiday include barbecues and picnics.

Additionally, several retailers and services offer military discounts (more details, below).

Military Appreciation Month, on the other hand, was only recently recognized by the U.S. Senate.

Regardless, both events are special opportunities to acknowledge the sacrifice and achievements of service members and veterans.

#4. Military Appreciation Month Traditions

It’s important to celebrate Military Appreciation Month.


The event draws appreciation for the important role service members play in the establishment of the United States.

There are several other military holidays / observances (more information, below) that take place during May.

As a result, make sure to acknowledge each event separately while reserving the entire month to appreciating the efforts of military personnel.

Veterans and spouses also deserve recognition during May.

Military Appreciation Month is important because it:

  • Reminds us to thank our veterans
  • Acknowledges the privileges of democracy
  • Reminds us of the contributions of service members

Furthermore, civilians may feel like thanking a veteran for their service yet not understand how to properly approach the individual.

Perhaps they are afraid of making the veteran feel uncomfortable or offended.

However, there are several easy ways to thank a veteran for their service:

    • Simply say, “Thank you.”
    • Ask positive questions about their time in service.
    • Learn about military history and tradition.
    • Volunteer for local veterans organization (i.e. VA hospital)

All of these methods (and more) are honorable and respectful ways to acknowledge military service.

#5. Military Appreciation Month Holidays

memorial day is held during military appreciation month

May is designated Military Appreciation Month.

What does this mean?

The month is reserved for honoring active duty troops and veterans.

Meanwhile, it also extends to acknowledge the sacrifice and contributions made by military spouses.

There are several military observances and holidays that take place throughout May.

These events in May, include:

  • Loyalty Day
  • Military Spouse Day
  • Victory in Europe Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Armed Forces Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Military Appreciation Day

Loyalty Day (May 1) dates back to the early 20th century (1921).

Meanwhile, Victory in Europe VE Day (May 8) commemorates the conclusion of World War II.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day occurs the Friday before Mother’s Day – another noteworthy observance for the sacrifices made by military spouses.

Armed Forces Day occurs the third-Saturday in May.

The purpose of the military holiday is to acknowledge the men and women serving the country.

Therefore, the purpose is slightly different from Memorial Day (May) and Veterans Day (November).

Memorial Day is one of the most popular national holidays that takes place the last weekend in May.

The holiday also usually serves as the unofficial start of summer and, therefore, a fantastic time to vacation with family.

Military discounts are available on airlines, car rentals, hotels, and restaurants.

May, also represents the month Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. special operations forces in Pakistan.

Lastly, Military Appreciation Day concludes the month long observance in May.

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#6. Military Appreciation Quotes

There are several inspiring quotes about military service.

For this reason, simply quoting one to a veteran might make their day.

Often, ordinary people (aka civilians) do not know how to properly thank military personnel for their service.

Consequently, quotes about military service allow us to put words to our feelings.

Consider these outstanding quotes:

“No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.”
-General Douglas MacArthur

Or, from President John F. Kennedy (JFK):

“Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard.”

The, the inspiring comments from Joseph Campbell:

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”

And, finally, from the mouth of Winston Churchill:

“We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”

Elmer Davis summarized it with “this will remain the land of the free so long as it is the home of the brave.”

#7. Military Discounts

when is military appreciation month

What is the best way to celebrate the event?

Military discounts save money on travel and entertainment, along with products and services.

These companies include Fortune 500 businesses along with nationwide brands and services.

Hundreds of retailers offer discounts on products that vary from 25 – 75%.

As a result, it never hurts to find out what deals are being offered this National Military Appreciation Month.

For example, Memorial Day is notorious for offering veterans discounts or free meals at participating restaurants.

Lastly, several participating sports organizations and venues offer discounted or free tickets to military personnel.

NASCAR recognized the month along with their annual Salutes Together with Coca-Cola program.


365 days / 7 days a week / 24 hours per day = the length of time, day and night, military personnel are on duty.

Service members protect the United States from enemy threats and sacrifice a lot in the process.

Therefore, Military Appreciation Month is a month long opportunity to acknowledge veterans and active duty personnel.

The event includes several holidays and observances designated toward service members.

These include Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day.

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Military Appreciation Month is designated for service members and military spouses. Military retirees and veterans also deserve recognition.
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