October 26 marks the National Day of the Deployed, a time to recognize our deployed troops and their families. Although we are ever thankful for the service of our men and women in uniform, this day specifically acknowledges those who have been deployed and the sacrifices their families make during deployment.
Origins of National Day of the Deployed
In 2006, North Dakota constituent Shelle Michaels Aberle petitioned then-Governor John Hoeven to have a day to honor the deployed. She was inspired by her cousin, LTC David Hosna, who was deployed to Iraq at the time. Former Governor Hoeven honored Aberle’s request with a proclamation to recognize October 26, David Hosna’s birthday, as Day of the Deployed.
Other states quickly followed suit and by 2012, all 50 states recognized Day of the Deployed in some fashion. While it is not an official federal holiday, the day is recognized with ceremonies by private and public institutions across the country to honor those in uniform.
Recognizing military members and their families
Acknowledgment of National Day of the Deployed comes in many forms. Some ways to support service members include:
- Sending a care package to a service member currently deployed.
- Donating to a military support organization.
- Reaching out to local chapters of veterans’ groups, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, USO, Disabled American Veterans, and such, to find ways to help.
Alternatively, you can direct your efforts to the families of those currently deployed:
- 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 military spouse and kids.
You can also raise awareness for National Day of the Deployed by displaying a yellow ribbon in your front yard or using #DayOfTheDeployed to encourage others to support deployed service members and their families.
If you’d like to participate in National Day of the Deployed activities in your community, check in with your local offices of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
USBA is a not-for-profit Association that provides group life insurance, health insurance supplements, and other products and services to military personnel, Federal employees, National Guard and Reserve members, Veterans and their families.