This May is Military Appreciation Month, a time for the nation to come together and honor those volunteer men and women who have chosen to wear the uniform of our Armed Forces. The sacrifices military members make are often reduced to images we see on TV and in theaters: combat deployments overseas, wounds, and sometimes even death. These portrayals capture just some of the challenges and sacrifices made by those who defend our freedom and often obscure some of the more mundane (but no less important) facets of military life.

Service members are on-call 24/7. As a leader, you are always responsible for some (or most) aspects of your subordinates’ well-being, whether on leave, during training, or working a normal motor pool Monday at your home station. When it’s time for gunnery, flight certification, or pre-deployment prep, everything else becomes secondary. Weddings, birthdays (and births), anniversaries, all go by the wayside in the name of training and readiness.

Military members aren’t paid by the hour. They know that if the job isn’t done, they’re not going home until it is. That’s why our all-volunteer force can shoulder so much. Even when not deployed, sons and daughters may go an entire week without seeing their mom or dad because they often leave for work at 430am and don’t get home until after bedtime.

That doesn’t even factor in the families of the service members. Spouses are often left to run a household and take care of kids alone for up to a year while their loved one is overseas. The emotional toll years of serving the nation are often ignored or not even acknowledged until it’s far too late.

It’s a thankless job, and our uniformed members don’t do it for the glory or the accolades, but that doesn’t mean they’re not human. The burdens our country has placed on our men and women serving have never been greater, and that’s why this May, Navy Federal Credit Union is doing its part to honor those heroes, partnering with Operation Homefront to show appreciation by collecting and submitting letters of support that will be distributed to military members in your local communities throughout the year.

Don’t worry, for those of you who’ve never had to send a physical letter, NFCU has made it easy to show your love and appreciation for a local service member. Just select a category and type out your own message of support. Once you submit it, your letter will be sent. Our goal is to show our hometown heroes just how much the country appreciates the sacrifices they make. 

This article was sponsored by Navy Federal Credit Union. For more than 90 years, their members have enjoyed so many membership perks, including great rates, discounts, cashback, and helpful guides that explain a variety of financial topics in simple terms.

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