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History and Heritage

Military Family Appreciation Month

Honoring families who support their service members

Every November, Americans take time to honor and remember those who have given so much for their country. November is not only a month to appreciate veterans who served, but also to thank the military families who support their service members through thick and thin.

Created in 1993, Military Family Appreciation Month recognizes the sacrifices families make to support their Marines, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, Soldiers and Airmen. In 1994, President Bill Clinton issued a presidential proclamation declaring National Military Families Recognition Day. Other presidents subsequently issued decrees as well, and Congress too has passed resolutions signaling November as Military Family Appreciation Month.

According to the Military Community and Family Policy fact sheet, family members do far more than support their own service members, however. As part of the Family Readiness System, they also strengthen the military community by stepping up as family readiness volunteers and ombudsmen, supporting others when they need it most, serving as beacons of hope for those who have been wounded in service and supporting their journeys to recovery. They also bravely cope with the loss of troops who have made the ultimate sacrifice and keep their memories alive.

How can you show your appreciation to service members and their families?

1. Send a care package to a service member or his or her family during the holidays.

2. Thank service members, veterans, military spouses or military children for their service.

3. Visit war memorials with your family and teach your children the value of service.

4. Fly the U.S. flag.

5. Adopt a military family for the holidays by donating a food basket, gifts or toys.

6. Offer to help a military neighbor in need with child care, running errands or cooking.

7. Donate to or volunteer at a military assistance organization.

Editor's note: Facts above are taken from the Military OneSource fact sheet. Visit for a list of veteran service organizations or Military One Source at to find service providers and leaders.