March On in May March On in May

March On In May

May is National Military Appreciation Month. Now, before you skeptics start wondering if this is just another holiday invented by Hallmark to sell more greeting cards—it's not. National Military Appreciation Month, designated by Congress, is a time for Americans to educate each generation on the historical impact of the country's military and to recognize the contributions of its soldiers. It includes Loyalty Day on the 1st, V-E (Victory in Europe) Day on the 8th, Military Spouse Appreciation Day on the 8th, Armed Forces Day on the 16th and, of course, Memorial Day on the 25th, during which many of you probably march in your town parades to commemorate men and women who died while in military service.

The people in Washington, D.C. who organize events during National Military Appreciation Month have some suggestions about how you and your school can support the military in May and throughout the year. This support is especially valuable while America's men and women soldiers are stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe these suggestions will inspire you to think of your own patriotic project. NJBIZ, a publishing company in Somerset, has been collecting CDs, DVDs and books on CD for the troops in a project they call "Tunes 4 the Troops." Here are a few more ideas: read up and pass them on:

1. Send a care package to a soldier through USO Cares (https://www.uso.org/donate/custom.aspx?id=565&.).

2. Adopt a hero at Soldiers' Angels (http://www.soldiersangels.org/) or send an email or letter of thanks at A Million Thanks (http://www.amillionthanks.org/).

3. Invite local service members (active, guard, reserve, or retired) to speak to your class or school.

4. Do a reading of well-known patriotic addresses by an American President or military hero.

5. Create a large poster signed by all students and send it to the nearest VA medical center.

6. Fly the flag on your house, car or business during May (make sure Mom and Dad do the same).

7. When you see a person in a military uniform, shake their hand and say ‘Thank you for serving our country.'

8. Wear a ‘Support Our Troops' wristband or shirt.

9. Tell your employer about the website, "Hire Vets First" (http://www.hirevetsfirst.gov/) so they can learn about hiring veterans.

10. Keep up on every brief, patriotic post by following National Military Appreciation Month on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nmam.