Today is Armed Forces Day, a national day to recognize the honor and sacrifice by all members of America’s military.
Whether you have served one day in the military or you personify a lifetime of service, today is for you. America is grateful for your service.
For our military members who have a family member with autism, you serve above and beyond, and deserve an extra salute.
This day have been around almost as long as the Department of Defense. It was originally announced by Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson on August 31, 1949. The recognition of all our armed forces replaced individual Army, Navy and Air Force Days and was signified unification of all services under the recently created Department of Defense.
President Harry Truman announced the official day on Feb. 27, 1950, through a proclamation stating, “Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.”
Service to our country can be difficult in itself. For many the days are long, tough and stressful. The moves, requirements and being on call 24 hours a day, every day is part of the military lifestyle.
The military members go through a lot, and it takes a lot out of you. Many members have security clearances that pre-empt any discussion of how work actually was. Often the military member has to hold back on a lot of stresses, especially in a deployed environment, as to not concern the family back on the homefront.
When you have to deploy at a moment’s notice and leave your family behind, you miss out on life. Not just the birthdays, holidays and weekend outings, but the simple things that most people take for granted, such as a smile, having dinner together and living life.
This is especially difficult if your child has autism. You cannot be there for supporting them and if something really goes wrong, you are half a world away.
The other 99 percent of our nation’s citizens have no idea how hard it is to do some of the things our families do. But they are supportive of your role, regardless or politics or perspective on war.
On this 62nd celebration of your service, enjoy your day.
According to Ourmilitary.mil, there are a number of events happening across the country in celebration.
- Joint Service Open House, Andrews Air Force Base, MD, May 19-20, 2012
- City of Torrance Armed Forces Day Celebration, Torrance, CA, May 18-20, 2012
- Guide to Armed Forces Day Events in Puget Sound, WA, May 18-20, 2012
- El Paso, TX Armed Forces Day Celebration, El Paso, TX, May 19, 2012
- Salute to Our Heroes, Armed Forces Day Concert, San Antonio, TX, May 19, 2012
- Armed Forces Festival, Savannah, GA, May 25-27, 2012
If you’re out shopping this weekend, remember to have your ID card handy. Many businesses are recognizing military members (and families) with discounts. Go ahead and ask if they give a military discount. You might be surprised that they do.
President Barack Obama issued the following proclamation in recognition of the day.
Presidential Proclamation — Armed Forces Day, 2012
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
With every assignment and in every theater, America’s men and women in uniform perform their duties with the utmost dignity, honor, and professionalism. Through their dauntless courage and dedication, they live up to our Nation’s highest ideals in even the most perilous circumstances. On Armed Forces Day, we pay tribute to the unparalleled service of our Armed Forces and recall the extraordinary feats they accomplish in defense of our Nation.
As individuals, our service members set extraordinary examples of character for those whose freedom they protect. Together, they comprise the greatest force for freedom and security the world has ever known. From their earliest training to the thick of battle, they look to those with whom they stand shoulder-to-shoulder, knowing they rise and fall as one team. United in their love of country, they teach us the true meaning of words like duty, honor, and strength.
Not just leaders and troops, patriots and heroes, the members of our Armed Forces are also parents, spouses, partners, sons, and daughters. Their families are just as vital to their success as their brothers and sisters in arms, and our debt of gratitude extends to them as well. As we celebrate the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who make our way of life possible, we also pay our deepest respect to their families, our missing, our wounded, and our fallen. Inspired by their service and humbled by their sacrifice, let us recommit to providing all those who have served our Nation the support they deserve.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, continuing the precedent of my predecessors in office, do hereby proclaim the third Saturday of each May as Armed Forces Day.
I direct the Secretary of Defense on behalf of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, and the Secretary of Homeland Security on behalf of the Coast Guard, to plan for appropriate observances each year, with the Secretary of Defense responsible for encouraging the participation and cooperation of civil authorities and private citizens.
I invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the
United States, to provide for the observance of Armed Forces Day within their jurisdiction each year in an appropriate manner designed to increase public understanding and appreciation of the Armed Forces of the United States. I also invite veterans, civic leaders, and organizations to join in the observance of Armed Forces Day.
Finally, I call upon all Americans to display the flag of the United States at their homes on Armed Forces Day, and I urge citizens to learn more about military service by attending and participating in the local observances of the day. I also encourage Americans to volunteer at organizations that provide support to our troops.
Proclamation 8681 of May 20, 2011, is hereby superseded.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
eighteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.