May, marked officially as Military Appreciation Month, is a special month for both those in and out of the military.
Introduced in 1999 by Sen. John McCain and honored every May, Military Appreciation Month encourages Americans to reflect on the sacrifices made by soldiers, sailors, and all current and former military personnel.
Not only do we pause on Memorial Day to remember the sacrifice and service of those who gave all, but the month also holds several other military anniversaries and events, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Armed Forces day.
The American military was founded even before the country itself. To fight the British and gain independence for the future United States, the Continental Congress created the army in 1775. After winning the Revolutionary War, the Founding Fathers didn’t intend to have a standing army. They disbanded the Continental Army and called for the “well-armed militias” that have become a flashpoint in today’s debate over the Second Amendment.
Today, the U.S. military is the world’s largest employer, with close to 3.5 million personnel employed in one way or another. The U.S. Department of Defense hires more people than any other organization or corporation in the world. By contrast, Wal-Mart, the largest private company, has 2.2 million employees worldwide.
I have to utmost respect for every person who joins the military, every role is vital and that love and respect extend to the families. We would not be America if it weren’t for our military, we wouldn’t be a respected world leader and we wouldn’t have the power to help others in need.
My gramps was a WWII veteran and one day while going thru some of his military paperwork I discovered he was awarded a Bronze Star. Gramps never talked about his time in the military so it was no surprise that I had no idea what awards he had. I ask him where his award was and he went into the garage and pulled it out of his toolbox. Grunge and all, there it was. I felt such pride and my gramps just brushed it off and said everyone got one of them. I knew better and after his death, I discovered many more metals he was awarded during his time serving our country.
When gramps died we were at the height of the war, and Ft. Hood was stretched very thin. I wanted a military funeral service and they weren’t sure anyone could come. I was shocked the day of the funeral, four soldiers arrived. At the end of the service, two of them folded the flag with gentle and respectful hands and then handed it to me. I felt such pride for my gramps, the four soldiers there that day, and to be an American.