May is Military Appreciation Month, and all month long we're celebrating, honoring and thanking the military community for their service. This year's events may look and feel a bit different, but the gratitude is the same. Join us in showing your support for our servicemembers while practicing safe social distancing with these fun ideas. Use #missionmilitarythanks to follow along on social.
Show Your Thanks to Military Spouses and Family Members on Social Media
May 9 is Military Spouse Day—the perfect opportunity to honor the husbands, wives and family members who stand with and support their partners through deployments, service, PCS moves and so much more. Post words of gratitude and cherished photos to your favorite social media channels using the hashtags #missionmilitarythanks and #militaryspouseday between May 1 and May 8—we’ll be reposting some of your shoutouts on May 9!
Learn About Ways to Help Transitioning Servicemembers and Vets
Approximately 270,000 service members transition out of the military every year. Through research, we know the top concern for this group is finding civilian employment to match their expertise.
Hire Heroes USA is a nonprofit supporting thousands of veterans in their transition from military service to civilian success. In addition, Hire Heroes help military spouses improve their employment opportunities through the Serving Spouses program. They offer a variety of resources, including one-on-one coaching, resume writing workshops and a network of potential employers.
"A fulfilling career after military service is the cornerstone for a healthy and successful transition," says Ross Dickman, Interim CEO of Hire Heroes USA. "Our team of dedicated professionals provides comprehensive coaching and career development support to the over 500 veterans and military spouses per week that ask for employment assistance. With the support of Navy Federal Credit Union and other partners, we can continue to meet the need of unemployed veterans and military spouses."
Learn more about Hire Heroes USA and see how you can get involved. Share your time and expertise to help a veteran move forward in their job search by providing advice or conducting a mock interview. Spread the word to friends and family who might be interested, too.
Test Your Military Strength with a Dedicated Workout
The military is known for their strength and resilience. Give a nod to that power this month by dedicating a workout to a servicemember or veteran in your life. We understand that due to social distancing, gyms may be closed and races may be held virtually, but home workouts and neighborhood runs can stand in for the time being!
Consider tackling a Workout of the Day (WOD) in honor of a military hero or hosting your own virtual 5K. We'll be sharing snaps of workouts throughout the month, so post yours using hashtags #missionmilitarythanks and #militarywod, and you could be featured. While you're at it, you can also test your military strength by trying one of the workouts we highlight.
Write a Letter of Thanks to the Troops
It's a great feeling to receive a handwritten letter of thanks. It’s an especially nice feeling to receive a letter of thanks when you're serving on the front lines. If you personally know a servicemember, consider writing a letter of thanks noting how that person has made a difference in your life. If you don’t—or if you’d like to write beyond those that you do know—visit Operation Gratitude to easily send a letter of gratitude to another servicemember.
If you have children, writing letters or drawing pictures of thanks could be a great way to get your kids involved in supporting the military. The best part—you can do this all year long, not just during Military Appreciation Month!
Meet Jo, My Gosh! and Follow Along On Her Journey
No one knows more about service and dedication than military families. Follow along with one military spouse's journey as she and her husband navigate life after the military: Joanna Guldin-Noll is the wife of a Navy veteran and coffee shop owner. She knows what it means to be a part of and stay connected with the military community. As the military spouse blogger behind Jo, My Gosh!, she shares her military life adventures with the world and this month, she shares her own ideas for staying connected during Military Appreciation Month.
Celebrate Graduates in a New Way
Traditional graduation ceremonies may have been canceled or postponed, this year but that doesn't mean we can’t find a way to make this season special for those graduating from military academies—and the same goes for high school graduates with plans to enlist and head off to boot camp. With people unable to attend a real graduation, give an untraditional nod to their hard work done. Send a shout-out to your military grad or share some boot camp advice for those planning to enlist using hashtags #missionmilitarythanks and #2020grad. Navy Federal team member Dexter Philips, a Project Manager and Army veteran, shared his advice on boot camp: "When it comes to basic training, all I can say is, take it all in. Some of the best life lessons are the ones I learned during basic training." What advice would you give?
Whether you select activities from our list or find your own way to honor the military, we encourage you to show your thanks not just during Military Appreciation Month, but all year long. The service, strength and sacrifice of our servicemembers and their families deserves to be recognized daily—especially during these challenging and uncertain times.