Thank you to our guest blogger Samantha from Recycled Rides

Each day, thousands of U.S. troops are deployed all across the globe, and thanks to Shelle Michaels Aberle and former North Dakota Governor John Hoeven, we have a day set aside to honor our deployed troops and their families.  In 2006, Aberle contacted Governor Hoeven looking for support of a proclamation day to honor the deployed troops, and by 2011, Congress had transformed North Dakota’s Day of the Deployed into a national day of proclamation to honor deployed troops.  October 26 was chosen as the date because it is the birthday of LTC David Hosna, Abrele’s cousin.

On the National Day of the Deployed, we honor our deployed troops and their families for the bravery and sacrifice they are making for our country.  Each deployed troop leaves behind a family whether it is a spouse and children, parents and siblings, grandparents, a “framily” (friends considered family), or all of the included, and even though they are not deployed, military families are making a sacrifice and deserve to be recognized too.  By recognizing a deployed troop’s family, you are honoring the troop too.

Often, we feel the need to express our gratitude in an elaborate way, and we worry a small act of kindness will look as if we do not care.  However, each small act of kindness matters and makes a difference.  Baking a plate of cookies for a military family or taking the time to write a handwritten letter to a deployed troop have just as much of an impact as a grand gesture.  The thought and care you put into your act of support is what matters…not how much money you spend.

Ways to honor Service Members:

  • Send cards and letters to thank our troops stationed overseas.  A simple letter of gratitude is one of the easiest ways to honor our deployed soldiers, and the impact a sincere letter makes is truly immeasurable.  Include your children by having them draw pictures and write letters too.
  • Mail a care package to a deployed service member.  You can personalize the package with specific favorites such as sweets, snacks, drinks, magazines, movies, books, etc., and do not be afraid to decorate the box too.
  • Give prepaid calling cards.  Send prepaid calling cards to deployed troops so they are able to call home without worrying about the financial aspect.

Ways to honor Military Families:

  • Buy a deployed troop’s family groceries or a special treat.  Show your support to the family of a deployed troop by delivering groceries or a special treat.  Even a small gesture like a pack of cookies will show your admiration for the family during this time.
  • Babysit for a military spouse.  As the spouse of a deployed troop, it can be hard to function in the role of both parents.  Help fill that gap by stepping in to babysit, and this will allow the military spouse time to run errands, perform certain chores, or simply have time alone.

Ways to bring Awareness to Deployed Troops:

  • Make a donation to a military support organization.  Hundreds of military support organizations have been created to assist military families and veterans, and you can honor our deployed troops by making a financial donation or volunteering at a worthy organization.
  • Display a yellow ribbon.  Yellow ribbons are a symbol of our military troops, and displaying your pubic support of our deployed troops is certainly a way to honor them.

On the National Day of the Deployed, the important aspect is to honor our deployed troops and their families.  No matter what type of gesture you choose, all that matters is that your gesture is heartfelt.  Large or small, inexpensive or expensive, every act of kindness makes a difference in the lives of these deployed troops and their families and shows your support for them.

Author Bio:  Samantha enjoys reading, traveling, baking, and playing with her puppy, Emma.  Some of her
favorites include Taylor Swift, Sprite, and Grey’s Anatomy, and she believes in making every
moment count.