Honoring Those That Served and Serve During Military Appreciation Month
The month of May is upon us and it’s a very distinctive one. While we here at OSD show our love and support of the military and veteran community on a daily basis, May is just a tad bit more special since it’s Military Appreciation Month.
To give a little bit of history in regards to this designation, back in 1999, Congress dedicated May as the month in which the nation shows its appreciation for the sacrifices and successes made by our service members – past and present. Why May? Because it’s packed full of other notable, military-focused days such as Memorial Day, Victory in Europe Day (VE Day), and Armed Forces Day, just to name a few. During this month, the President of the United States issues an annual proclamation calling on US citizens to recognize the dedication and sacrifice our nations service members have made for their country. Around the world, military installations are hosting various events, from 5k runs, to charity drives, to celebrations, honoring those that serve and served. Within our country, from big cities down to small towns, similar events are being hosted which show additional support and appreciation from the civilian community.
May isn’t as big of a month for our allied brothers and sisters; however, they hold similar celebrations and memorial ceremonies right around the same time. For instance, on April 25th of each year, our Australian and New Zealand brethren remember and honor their nation’s military members who served and died in war or operational service, similar to the United States Memorial Day. In the United Kingdom, the last week of June is dedicated to honoring veterans and active duty members.
Aside from the normal celebrations and services, there’s plenty of other ways to show your appreciation to your countrymen and women who sacrificed so much to protect their countries. While a show of support on social media is great, if you really want to make a difference, get out and volunteer or donate to organizations that are trying to make a difference in the lives of veterans and service members. Organizations like the Fisher House Foundation, Homes for Our Troops, and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund are well-run charities that apply a majority of the funds they receive towards the cause of assisting those that serve or served in the military.
Our very own Operation Supply Drop is another amazing military/veteran charity that is focused on serving US, NATO and ANZAC veterans via 3 primary programs: The Teams, Supply Drops & Thank You Deployments.
The Teams is a program which bridges the gap between military and civilian and brings them both together for meaningful community in dozens of cities and countries around the world. Members of the various teams, both civilian, military, and veterans, truly enjoy the friendships they’re able to build and foster. One veteran Team member stated:
“I’ve been able to connect and experience the same camaraderie that I had from my days in uniform with all of the members and supports of the OSD community that I have met so far…..It’s rewarding to simply promote OSD’s mission to individuals or groups of people and witness them offer to show their support and gratitude towards the organization. Plus, it’s been fun convincing people to do a few push-ups with me on the spot!”
If you’re interested in learning more about a Team in your area and how you can help out, check out this page which has a bunch of details about how to join.
Our Supply Drop Program (aka Video Game Care Package) focuses on sending a crate of video game themed goodies to US, NATO & ANZAC deployed service members, military hospitals and to MWRs singularly focused on building morale and camaraderie.
“It was a huge surprise. I’ve never had such an awesome package come in the mail. It definitely boosted my morale.”
Your donations help put these packages together. Not only are monetary donations much appreciated but we love receiving old consoles and games which we repackage and send out to various military units deployed around the world. Here’s a little more about the Supply Drops.
And finally, our Thank You Deployment is a VIP experience provided to a deserving veteran. These experiences are diverse including opportunities to train or game with a professional athlete, first-look fun at gaming conferences like E3, ride-alongs at supercar races or all-access to the X-Games.
In addition to the above, our supporters are constantly running what we call the ‘8-Bit Salute’, the largest “Gaming for Troops” movement on the planet, where thousands play year-round with a focus on raising awareness and donations for OSD. If you haven’t experienced one of these drives, you need to check them out. Stop by our 8-Bit Salute page to see some of the upcoming Salutes our followers are hosting and stop by to say hello.
With all of that said, the most important thing you can do is to simply state just two words when you bump into a service member or veteran next: Thank You. Most veterans and military members are too proud to take your money or gifts. But the one thing that really hits home is when a civilian takes just a moment out of their day to express their gratitude.
So, we here at Operation Supply Drop will kick off Military Appreciation Month by expressing our love, admiration, and appreciation for the sacrifices our service-members, past and present, have made for our country. To those serving stateside and abroad, to those that are in harm’s way, to our brothers and sisters serving in allied forces, to the veterans that have given so much, and to those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice: