May was designated as National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM) by legislation passed in the U.S. Senate in 1999. In April 2004 more comprehensive legislation was passed by unanimous consent of both Houses of Congress, known as H. Con. Res. 328, and urged the President to issue an annual proclamation calling on the American people to recognize this special month through appropriate ceremonies and events. May was selected because it has most days set aside for celebrating and commemorating the U.S. military’s achievements, including Armed Forces Day (19th) and Memorial Day (28th).
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, and his wife Deanie, address Service members during Military Appreciation Month in this video. Below are messages from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy, and the directors of the Military Services wounded warrior programs honoring Service members and their families this May.
“I hope every American holds in their hearts this Military Appreciation Month, a relentless and spirited dedication to duty and honor that vibrates to our core. This dedication should not only motivate us to honor and remember our Service members and families, but should propel us to act and give back.
The Military Services and Department of Defense are charged with the mission to ensure wounded, ill and injured Service members and their families get the care they need to get well and transition smoothly to the next phase of their lives. And we take that job very seriously. We are often humbled by wounded warriors who feel even their sacrifices are inadequate to repay the debt we all owe their fallen comrades. Thus humbled, I offer my most sincere thanks to all Service members and their families.”
John R. Campbell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy
“During National Military Appreciation Month, join me in saluting all the men and women in uniform, their Families, and the civilians who proudly serve and protect the United States and understand the sense of duty and personal price of freedom. As the Army’s Assistant Surgeon General for Warrior Care and Transition and Commander, Army Warrior Transition Command, I am impressed each day by the strength and resilience of the 9,500 wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers—Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve—recovering in our 29 Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) and nine Community Based Warrior Transition Units (CBWTUs). Since June 2007, 22,000 wounded, ill, or injured Soldiers have returned to the force from these units, and 21,000 transitioned to civilian status. Our Nation is grateful for the service and sacrifices of all servicemembers. I am grateful to serve alongside you. Thank you for what you and your Families do for our country.“
“National Military Appreciation Month provides us an opportunity to recognize all military personnel—past and present—and their families who have so bravely served our country. I am particularly pleased to specifically acknowledge and reflect upon the accomplishments of our Marines who have been wounded, fallen ill, or been injured. I salute their dedicated family members and caregivers who make many sacrifices.
Through the Wounded Warrior Regiment, the Marine Corps continues to keep faith with our wounded, ill and injured Marines and their families. Whether Marines are joined to a Regimental element or remain with their parent command, we provide non-medical support throughout the recovery phases to ensure Marines are postured for successful return to duty or transition to civilian life.”
“Is there any better month than this? The one that honors our nation’s finest, the ones who serve their country daily, tirelessly, and diligently. This month we salute all our Armed Forces across all services. We recognize that for some, there is great personal cost in the fight for our nation’s freedom. We witness also, that the price to pay affects not only our wounded, ill, and injured, but significantly those who take care of them. We honor you, Warriors, and are committed to your care.”
According to the NMAM website, the goal of this month is for community members and those who serve to work together to encourage patriotism and to educate others on the historical impact of the U.S. military. The month honors, remembers, recognizes and appreciates all military personnel and their families. It is a way to commemorate the men and women who have served throughout history. It is a way to thank all those who currently serve in uniform and their families. And it is a way to remember those Americans who have given their lives in defense of freedoms we all enjoy today.