The Navarre Press reported that May has been recognized as Military Appreciation Month since Congress first designated it as such back in 1999, and has been successful in bringing communities together in the years since. The source pointed out that there have been countless examples of extreme heroics and selflessness among the nearly 1.5 million individuals who currently serve in the armed forces, while communities should take this opportunity to recognize the veterans in their local areas. 

Events have been hosted across the nation throughout the past two weeks, and more are certainly to follow in the remaining days of Military Appreciation Month. From governors and state senators passing new legislation to assist veterans to relatively simple recognition programs and events, civilians will have a wealth of opportunities to support veterans and active duty service members throughout the coming months. 

South Dakota's big statement
The Rapid City Journal recently reported that South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard spoke to the reasons behind May acting as Military Appreciation Month across the nation, and urged the state's residents to honor those who have or are serving in the armed forces. The source pointed out that Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day both fall within the days of May, and act as an even greater chance for communities to rally around their veterans. 

"The vigilance of the members of the Armed Forces has been instrumental to the preservation of freedom, security and prosperity enjoyed by the people of this great nation," Governor Daugaard stated in his proclamation last week, according to the news provider. "The success of the Armed Forces depends on the dedicated service of its members and their families."

South Dakota's government is supporting Military Appreciation Month. South Dakota's government is supporting Military Appreciation Month.

High-ranking politicians in Washington, D.C., Utah and elsewhere have put forth similar proclamations to kick off and recognize Military Appreciation Month. Another well-known figure took to writing a blog post regarding his backing of this month's appreciation events. 

A message from Chuck
Chuck Norris recently published an opinion piece in WND regarding some of the reasons he believes May has been designated to honor veterans and service members. The renowned action-movie actor noted that he served as an Airman First Class in the U.S. Air Force, and that his experiences while on active duty shaped many of his life's core missions and goals. 

Norris also took the opportunity to point out the increasing division between military and civilian life, and the need to bring the groups a bit closer together in the near future. He argued that the tiny percentage of the population that serves now – 0.5 percent – compared to the 12 percent who did for World War II might be one of the sources of misunderstandings and division. 

Communities that pull together behind their veterans will be making a big difference, as service members act as champions for their neighbors and fellow Americans throughout and following their time on active duty. May is the perfect month to increase these types of efforts.