Although we are thankful every day for our men and women in uniform, October 26 specifically recognizes our deployed troops and their families. Known as National Day of the Deployed, this day honors all service members who have been deployed in service of our country and acknowledges the sacrifices our military families make during deployment.
This national day of recognition began in 2006, when former Governor of North Dakota John Hoeven was approached by constituent Shelle Michaels Aberle, who requested a day to honor the deployed. She was inspired to action by her cousin, LTC David Hosna, who was deployed to Iraq at the time. Former Governor Hoeven created a proclamation that Oct. 26, David Hosna’s birthday, would be recognized as Day of the Deployed.
Other states quickly followed suit and by 2012, all 50 states recognized Oct. 26 in some fashion. While it is not an official federal holiday, Day of the Deployed is recognized with ceremonies by private and public institutions to honor those in uniform.
Ideas for recognizing military members and their families:
- Send a care package to a service member currently deployed.
- Make a donation to a military support organization.
- Contact your local chapters of veterans’ groups, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, USO, Disabled American Veterans, etc., to find ways to help.
- Display a yellow ribbon in your front yard in honor of those serving far from home.
- On social media, use the hashtag #DayOfTheDeployed on Oct. 26 to raise awareness and encourage others to show their own support for deployed service members and their families.
- Prepare a dinner for the family on or near Oct. 26 – or any time.
- Drop off a care package, with a thank you note, for the spouse and kids.
If you’d like to participate in National Day of the Deployed activities in your community, be sure to check in with your local offices of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.
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