November is the month we celebrate veterans past and present with Veterans Day, but it also honors the spouses, children, and extended family who love and support service members.
Military Family Month is a celebration of the commitment and dedication of military families to their service members, veterans, and country. While many military members deploy overseas, families stay behind, holding down the home. Without these familial support systems, soldiers across all branches would face more challenges and feel more isolated.
On the other side of the coin, military families are often waiting for news from their loved ones, often celebrating holidays and milestones like anniversaries and births without them. This vital cog in the U.S. Armed Forces machine is often overlooked but one of the most important pieces of the puzzle.
The History of Military Family Month
What began as just one week of appreciation was expanded to a month. In 1996, the Armed Forces YMCA and U.S. government turned Military Family Week into a month-long celebration.
The month has to be renewed annually with a signed proclamation by the sitting president. Every president from Bill Clinton in 1997 to Joe Biden in 2021 have happily continued the observation.
Before Military Family Month, the main way to honor military families was through the National Military Family Association. Founded in 1969, the group was founded after a group of military wives made a plan around a kitchen table to support their widowed friends. After vowing their friends’ late husbands lost at war would never be forgotten, the women marched to the Capitol to tell their stories — and the association was born.
Today, Military Family Appreciation Month is just one way to honor the men and women who support service members and veterans.
Ways to Show Appreciation to Military Families
Military families are celebrated throughout November, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate those who serve year-round. There are many ways you can show your support to military families nationwide and overseas:
- Adopt a military family for the holidays. Organizations offer ways to buy groceries for Thanksgiving dinner or donate presents to military families for Christmas.
- Fly the U.S. flag.
- Visit war memorials with your family and explain the importance of serving as a member and a military family.
- Donate your professional services to the military community. Popular services include counseling, psychology, social work, therapy, child care, and community organizing.
- Visit a veteran in a VA hospital or nursing home.
- Host or help organize fundraisers for Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society, Air Force Aid Society, Army Emergency Relief, or Coast Guard Mutual Assistance. Winter months are prime fundraising opportunities, including the annual Toys for Tots drive.
- Donate to military assistance organizations, such as the Armed Services YMCA.
- Contact your nearest military base’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Office to find planned events celebrating the community. Sometimes, simply attending an event can offer plenty of free support to military families who often feel forgotten and ignored.
- Create a care package for service members or military families to reduce the stress during deployment and relocations.
Contact Us Today
FSR is proud to support the military and its families through our work, veteran hiring initiatives, and veteran charitable and community involvement. We are dedicated to enhancing the health of the communities that serve the nation. For opportunities or capabilities information, contact us today.