National Military Appreciation Month is celebrated in May and was designated by Congress in 1999 to encourage Americans to recognize and remember all current and former military personnel. Beginning with Loyalty Day on May 1 and ending with Memorial Day, the month of May has several special days that commemorate the achievements of our military. There are also many events around the country that observe and celebrate the military in honor of National Military Appreciation Month. The following is a list of just a few. For even more events and military discounts, visit the National Military Appreciation Month website or MilitaryBridge.com.
Armed Forces Day Operation Appreciation
Oceanside Pier Amphitheatre
On May 16, the community of Oceanside will recognize all active duty military stationed at Camp Pendleton and nearby military bases. Service members and their families can enjoy free food, entertainment, carnival rides, inflatable jumps, face painting, and much more. Here is a video from past Operation Appreciation event.
Memorial Day, May 25
9am – 3pm
Battleship Iowa, San Pedro, CA
Service members are invited to attend the third annual AM590 The Answer United States Military Appreciation Day on Memorial Day taking place at the Battleship Iowa in San Pedro, CA. The free military event features live entertainment, carnival games, food, live broadcasts with Dennis Prager & The Morning Answer, and a special guest star appearance by Bernie Kopell of The Love Boat television show.
The Armed Forces Day Celebration is a long-standing Southern California tradition that honors the men and women of America’s military. Among the many festivities taking place during the three-day event are a free concert at the James Armstrong Theatre, an exhibition of military aircrafts and vehicles at the Del Amo Fashion Center Parking Lot, and a parade on Saturday, May 16. The parade, which begins at Crenshaw Blvd., is the nation’s longest running military parade sponsored by any city. Here is a video of the 2013 event.
4pm – 8pm
Peacock Playland is an indoor playland featuring playhouses, bounce houses, Wii, a giant party room, and more. On Military Appreciation Night, active duty, reserve, and GAF military personnel and their dependents receive a 25% discount on everything including food, drinks, concessions, and birthday parties.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Lewis-Main, WA
This free event is open to the Puget Sound community and features a day filled with lots of family-friendly activities. Enjoy exciting historical-reenactments, military equipment displays, roving entertainers, and more. Carnival rides, food, and crafts are available for purchase.
Beaches Military Appreciation Luncheon
Casa Marina Hotel and Restaurant
Jacksonville Beach, FL
The Beaches Division of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce will honor local active military personnel at a special appreciation luncheon at the Casa Marina Hotel and Restaurant. Guest speaker will be Captain Wesley McCall, Commanding Officer, NS Mayport. The cost is $25 and registration is requested. There is a $5 discount if you register through Wed., May 20.
3pm – 8pm
Losner Park, Homestead, FL
The city of Homestead will recognize America’s service men and women during its 4th annual Military Appreciation Day. Families can enjoy live music and food trucks, and view military vehicles and weaponry. There will also be ceremonies honoring military personnel and an obstacle course competition open to two teams from each Air Base tenant.
East Central University in the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center
This free event celebrates 20 years of Veterans Upward Bound at East Central University, a grant program designed to assist military veterans with the support they need to re-enter vocational school or college. The military event will feature special speakers and presentations, student testimonials, and tables with information on programs, organizations, and employers who provide services to military personnel, veterans, and their families. Lunch will be provided.
12pm – 2pm
Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina offers a full month of military appreciation events and activities in May. On May 16, military personnel, veterans and their families are invited to a free picnic complete with live music by the Andrew Theilen Big Band, military exhibits, and other activities. Prior to the picnic is the Military Appreciation Days parade at 10:30am featuring U.S. Army veteran and Dancing with the Stars champion J.R. Martinez as the Grand Marshal.
12pm – 5pm
Buffalo Gap Historic Village
Buffalo Gap, TX
Active and retired military and their families can tour Buffalo Gap Historic Village free of charge. Visit cabins, offices, shops, a gas station, courthouse and many other historic buildings that will take you back in time to the West Texas Frontier.
Armed Forces Banquet
Kansas City Convention Center
Kansas City, MO
Military, veterans, and their families are invited to attend the Armed Forces Day Banquet “Celebrating Freedom & Honoring Service” on May 16. John Holt from FOX 4 News will be the Master of Ceremonies and featured speakers include Medal of Honor recipient Donald “Doc” Ballard, Colonel, ARNG, Retired and Rex Pratt, Director/Producer of “Warriors in Their Own Words.” Guests will also be entertained by Steve Amerson and Nathan Osmond. Free admission for military with RSVP.
Omni Financial is proud to honor America’s military every day! Thank you for all you do to serve our country.