What is a Gold Star family? It is the venerated status that no one wants, but accepts proudly to honor a loved one who paid the ultimate price to protect our Constitution and the many freedoms Americans have today.

For nearly 100 years, inclusion has been earned for losing an immediate family member serving during wartime. In 1928, 25 mothers who lost sons in World War I met in Washington to establish the American Gold Star Mothers organization. The Gold Star Wives organization was formed during World War II. The last Sunday of September is observed as Gold Star Mothers’ and Families’ Day. The day was first observed in 1936. In 1947, the US Congress passed a law authorizing and distributing Gold Star lapel pins for family members to wear. Gold Star families do not comprise a formal organization, but several organizations representing Gold Star family members emerged during the 20th century.

To date, 6,800 service members have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly 300,000 American service men and women are deployed in 150 countries around the world, many of them in harm’s way. Gold Star mothers and families and everyone else are encouraged to continue to tell the stories of the sacrifices their sons and daughters made, not just on Gold Star Mother’s Day, but every day of the year.

Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day is the last Sunday of September and Gold Star Spouses Day is April 5. The strength of our nation is our Army. The strength of our Army is our Soldiers. The strength of our Soldiers is our families. The Army recognizes that no one has given more for the nation than the families of the fallen. The families of service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice deserve our respect, gratitude and the very best support we can provide.  Help bring awareness to days and symbols that honor our Military heroes.

May hosts more celebrations, parades, and community gatherings to honor our military than any other month. It recognizes those on active duty in all branches of the services, the National Guard and Reserves plus retirees, veterans and their families–well over 90 million Americans.

Congress has designated May as National Military Appreciation Month to provide an encompassing look at the diversity of our armed services achievements and individuals. These celebrations motivate public patriotism, awareness of the historical impact of our military and support our troops, veterans and their families.

May 1, 2017 – Loyalty Day – A day set aside for American citizens to reaffirm their loyalty to the United States and to recognize the heritage of American freedom.

May 1, 2017 – Silver Star Service Banner Day – A day set aside to honor our wounded, ill and dying military personnel by participating in flying a Silver Star Banner.

May 4, 2017 – National Day of Prayer – The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation.

May 8, 2017 – VE (Victory in Europe) Day(Celebrated May 7 in commonwealth countries) – A day which marks the anniversary of the Allies’ victory in Europe during World War II on May 8, 1945.

May 12, 2017 – Military Spouse Appreciation Day – A day set aside to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices of the spouses of the U.S. Armed Forces.

May 13, 2017 – Children of Fallen Patriots Day – A day to honor the families our Fallen Heroes have left behind – especially their children. It’s a reminder to the community that we have an obligation to support the families of our Fallen Patriots.

May 20, 2017 – Armed Forces Day – A day set aside to pay tribute to men and women who serve in the United States’ Armed Forces.

May 29, 2017 – Memorial Day (Decoration Day) – A day set aside to commemorate all who have died in military service for the United States. Typically recognized by parades, visiting memorials and cemeteries.

10 Ways You Can Show Support for Those Who Defend Our Freedom:

  1. Display your support at home, work, or town: American flag; blue, silver or gold star ribbon; yellow ribbon; or red, white and blue patriot bow
  2. Share a meal with a veteran or military family
  3. Give the spouse a break by caring for kids, parents or wounded warrior
  4. Hire a veteran or military spouse
  5. Share your expertise and mentor a military spouse or person transitioning from the military into civilian life
  6. Donate to military family organizations – even $5 a month can make a difference
  7. Volunteer at a local military-impacted school
  8. Donate items for service member care packages or a unit holiday party
  9. Offer free or discounted services to military families
  10. Contact your closest military installation, USO, or organization to learn about volunteer opportunities

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