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Participating in Military Appreciation Month

Kids celebrating the military

Military Appreciation Month is a time for civilians and servicemembers alike to show appreciation for those individuals who have served their country by joining the military. While there are numerous ways to support servicemembers and veterans in general, you may be a little stuck in coming up with ideas for showing support during this month in particular. Not to worry! We've compiled some of the best ways to participate during National Military Appreciation Month.

Everyone:

Wear NMAM Gear – Proudly wearing a few items of NMAM gear will not only send money to the Armed forces Children's Education Fund, it'll raise awareness about the month. As a conversation starter or inspiration for someone to research NMAM online, letting people know what May is all about through a few recognizable items of outerwear will help the cause.

Send in letters – There are a few different ways to do this, but reaching out to servicemembers with a genuine letter of gratitude can help. You can send email greetings cards here (scroll down a bit to find military related holidays), or send in basic emails to shauna@amillionthanks.org, or send a

Donate – It's not too hard to do, and every little bit helps. Organizations you can donate to include the Armed Forces Children's Education Fund, Operation USO Care Package, The Fisher House who supports families with loved ones in VA hospitals, The Wounded Warrior Project, the American Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Services, or send a Gift From the Homefront certificate.

Veterans:

Talk about NMAN – Whether you frequent a group meeting or see your buddies every now and again, let them know about National Military Appreciation Month and what they can do to support it. On a broader spectrum, reach out to your community about flying the flag from May 1 through Flag Day, June 14.

Reach out – VA hospitals can always use some extra support; May is the perfect month to encourage individuals to pitch in. Also, schools may be interested in presentations from local veterans or servicemembers, so contact your local schools and inquire about the possibility. If you live near a library, give them a call and see if they're open to making a small display in recognition of the month – there are plenty of books which fall in line with NMANs themes. Lastly, local media stations may be interested in hearing stories from veterans and servicemembers, so offer your time to help raise awareness about NMAM.

Libraries and Museums:

Create displays – Because libraries and museums are centers of knowledge, they're the perfect place to set up displays that showcase America's military history. This can be done through suggested reading materials and artifacts.

Schools and Universities:

Connect with veterans and servicemembers – Inviting present and former military personnel is a great way to educate kids about the U.S. military. Often, these individuals would be very willing to speak about their service and the military in general. Conversely, sending out postcards or short letters to the local VA hospital or active duty members is a strong sign of support.

Study military-themed topics – The history of the United States and our current state of affairs is rich with military action, and customizing the curriculum to incorporate our use of force is a great way to commemorate NMAM.

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