9 ways you can show appreciation on Armed Forces Day

Sailors assigned to amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) practice for the San Diego Padres' opening day flag ceremony.

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Sailors assigned to amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) practice for the San Diego Padres’ opening day flag ceremony.
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US Navy Photo

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day which serves as a day to honor all those who serve in the sister-service branches.

The men and women of the military have made exceptional sacrifices and so on Armed Forces Day and all other military appreciation days, we can do small acts to show our gratitude to them.

Below are some ideas of how to show your appreciation:


Volunteer at a VA hospital or donate your time to a veterans group.

There are 152 veteran medical centers in the US as well as hundreds of clinics, outpatient and nursing facilities. Call your local VA medical center or community to learn more about donating your time.


Talk to veterans or an active service member.

Ask questions about their service, why they joined the military and listen to their stories. A little interest can go a long way.


Visit a memorial.

All across the US, military members are honored through monuments that memorialize their service and sacrifice. Washington DC is home to 8, but monuments dedicated to members of the military can be found throughout the nation.


Put together a care package.

With so many USO centers sending a comforting package is easy. Check with your local center to ensure that they can send out the package. You can fill them up with snacks and non-perishable food, toiletries, stationery or purchase a pre-made package.


Donate to a worthy cause.

Organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, Homes for Our Troops or Disabled American Veterans all work to assist military members, both active and vets, in rebuilding their lives. Organizations like Operation Homefront assist the families of servicemen and women with food, school supplies, finances and housing.


Attend a parade.

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U.S. Marines march during the National Memorial Day Parade on Constitution Avenue in Washington May 27, 2013.
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Reuters

Cities across the US celebrate Armed Forces Day with parades. Some of the most famous parades can be found in the cities of Torrence, California, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Washington D.C.


Offer to help a military spouse.

While expressing gratitude to service members is encouraged, so is helping out their families. With one person at home, daily tasks can get overwhelming and a break is welcome. Offer to cook a meal, drive them somewhere or watch their children for a few hours.


Fly a flag, the correct way.

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Honor Guard member, Airman First Class Michael Gibson, 50th Force Support Squadron, reaches for the flag during retreat. Schriever Air Force Base honored and celebrated the Air Force’s 70th Birthday with a retreat ceremony held in the courtyard of the Dekok Building, headquarters of the 50th Space Wing at Schriever AFB Colorado Sept. 18, 2017. The service was established as it’s own branch of the Armed Forces on 18 September 1947.
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U.S. Air Force Photo/Dennis Rogers

Sometimes the simplest expressions of gratitude are the most appreciated. Make sure that if you do fly America’s Stars and Stripes you follow the code.


A simple thank you.

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Claudia greets her husband, Lt. Col. Gary Symon, 71st Rescue Squadron (RQS) commander, during a redeployment, Oct. 6, 2017, at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Airmen from the 71st RQS supported deployed operations by providing expeditionary personnel with on-call recovery forces should they need rescued.
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US Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Snider

Sometimes this is the most honest expression of gratitude to those who serve our country.