North Dakota Senator John Hoeven made it his mission to introduce a national day that honors the deployed service men and women of America. Though the day was launched in 2006 while Hoeven was serving as Governor, his wish for national celebration was finally granted when it became a nationally recognized day in 2011. From that date forward, October 26 became known as the Day of the Deployed, a day that calls on all Americans to reflect on the service of deployed men and women and to offer support to their loved ones.
Hoeven led the efforts and sponsored S.RES.295 as a national day of honor. The original concept, however, was presented to him by fellow North Dakotan Shelle Aberele whose cousin was deployed to Iraq. On October 18, 2011 S.RES.295 was passed unanimously as the first national day honoring the deployed troops and their families. October 26th was chosen as the day of celebration to commemorate Aberele’s cousin, LTC David Hosna, since his birthday falls on that day. In honor of him and millions of other deployed soldiers, 10-26 is now a date celebrated across the entire nation.
There are ways to raise awareness or connect with others. If you know a serviceman, invite them over to your home for a meal in their honor. You can even put your thanks in writing! Do something different, and mail a letter to a military family, to those currently in service or a to veteran. You can find out more about this service at Operation Appreciation or at Blue Star Families. This organization was founded with the purpose of connecting civilian families to military families as a bridge for support.
Additionally, the website Soldier’s Angels is an excellent resource. Soldier’s Angel’s prerogative is to “make sure no soldier goes unloved.” Their website features an extensive list of different and unique ways you can get involved with those serving in the military. Two great resources Soldier’s Angels features are Adopt a Soldier, which offers individualized support throughout deployment, and Angel Bakers, who specialize in home baked treats for the deployed.
If you’re already connected to a soldier in your life, are married to one, or have one in your family, one great way to honor them during the National Day of the Deployed is to post about them on Social Media. Let them know they’re appreciated. Use the hashtag #DayoftheDeployed, and you’ll raise awareness about this important day at the same time as giving your soldier much deserved recognition.
John Hoeven made it his mission to see that the National Day of the Deployed received attention nationwide. He felt it imperative that our soldiers get the gratitude they deserve. Hoeven stated:
“U.S. service men and women currently deployed, along with their loved ones, make untold sacrifices as they serve our nation. A national Day of the Deployed pays tribute to their commitment to our country and to their work.”
Currently, more than 2.27 million people serve as members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those in the active Guard and Reserve components, with thousands of members deployed each year to 150 countries around the world. Their purpose is to guard our freedoms. It is our purpose to honor their courage. So mark your calendars, and this October 26th (and heck, why not all week?), be purposeful. Hug a soldier, thank them for their service, and resolve to not take a single day for granted.
We’d love to hear what you have to say about your deployment or loved ones that are/have been deployed. Comment below or tag us in your tweets @VFWSouthernConf