SYLACAUGA, Ala – For most, the month of May brings to mind the saying “April showers bring May flowers.” But the month of May means something even more special: National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM). Now, you could be asking yourself: What is National Military Appreciation Month?

NMAM started in 1999 when Senator John McCain introduced legislation to designate the month of May as National Military Appreciation Month. Congress passed resolutions calling for Americans to recognize and honor U.S. Service Members during the month. They also urged the President to issue a proclamation for the people of the United States to observe NMAM. The month recognizes service members on active duty in all branches, National Guard and reserve componets, as well as retirees, veterans, and their families.

For those who have served, the month means even more.

“[I will be] celebrating as I do each day with my [nation’s] flag flying outside my house and when the family is over, I make sure they know what each day is all about,” said retired USAF veteran Mack Howell. “I think it is most important that people know why they have the right and freedoms they do now cause of the men and women who fight and those who fought. They should remember those who paid the price to give them the right to do what they are doing now.”

Sylacauga Mayor Jim Heigl, a US Army veteran, shared his thoughts with SylacaugaNews.com about being a veteran and how the community should honor and remember our brave military servicemen and women. “More than 90% of our community has been touched in some way by military service,” he said. “Whether a brother, sister, mother, father, grandfather or uncle served, it’s very important that we thank all of them. I would like to have a proclamation recognizing this month for the armed forces. There is not much going on celebration-wise, but I would like to see us do more as a city and gather together to celebrate our military through the month.”

US Rep. Mike Rogers visited Sylacauga over the weekend for the 36th Annual Third District Congressional Art Competion. Rogers spoke with SylacaugaNews.com about the many key points touching our nation today. Rogers praised servicemembers.

“The brave men and women who have served our country in uniform are true American heroes and deserve not only recognition, but the best care we can provide for them. This Congress, I was proud to support the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act that would allow our Veterans to continue accessing their health care services.  I will continue to support legislation like this as Congress works toward much-needed comprehensive VA reform,” said Rogers.

The month is special because of NMAM. But there are several dates throughout the year that recognize the Armed Services from birthdays for each branch to special dates of significance in our nation’s history.

In May there are six national observances:

  1. May 1: Loyalty Day – This day is set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States but also to reflect on the heritage of our American freedom.
  2. May 7 – 13: Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) – This week honors the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees.
  3. May 8: Vicrtory in Europe Day (V-E Day) – This day signifies the day the Germans in Europe surrendered to Allied Forced during World War 2 in 1945.
  4. May 12: Military Spouse Appreciation Day –  This day is celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day and honors military spouses with events and ceremonies. Cebrates the role that families play while loved ones serve our nation.
  5. May 20: Armed Forces Day – The third Saturday in May is set aside for citizens to come together and say thank you to those currently serving our nation each and every day in all branches both active and reserve componets.
  6. May 29: Memorial Day – This Federal Holiday on the last Monday in May commemerates the men and women who have died serving our country while serving in the armed forces.

SylacaugaNews.com recognizes and thanks the men and women who serve today and those who have bore the sweat, blood, and tears – many sacrificing their lives to give us the freedoms we have today.

Dustin Harmer for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Michael Brannon is a former news and sports anchor from Mobile, Ala. and serves as Director of Business Development, Manager of Digital Projects and Strategy, and Managing Editor of SylacaugaNews.com.