How to Thank a Military Family: 5 Easy Ways
Written by TeLeah Thurston
Joining the military is a task of honor and sacrifice but military life is unique and challenging. Often, the weight of the duties fall on the families of soldiers. Whether it’s long duty hours or a year-long deployment, the family must support itself without the presence of their soldier. For some families, this looks like the soldier missing out on family gatherings or holidays or a mom or dad missing their child’s “firsts.”
November is National Military Family Appreciation Month — a time when America gives recognition to the commitment and sacrifice of our military families. If you have ever wondered what you can say to military families to thank them, here’s a start:
1. Offer Emotional Support and Encouragement
Making up just less than 1% of the American population,1 military members and veterans alike often feel isolated and unsupported. Nothing feels better than knowing your hard work is seen and appreciated. Affirm a military family during Military Family Appreciation Month by encouraging them with words of comfort, listening to them, and reminding them you support them.
2. Spend Time with a Military Family
Another way you can thank a military family is to visit them. Among active duty military families, 43% report isolation from family and friends.2 Many military families relocate from their hometowns due to Permanent Change of Station (PCS) demands and they rarely get to return home for visits because of financial ability.
Spend quality time with a military family to show them your support. Quality time could look like showing them around town or it could be you allowing them to show you around their new environment if you traveled to them. Having an adventurous perspective is greatly appreciated from military families, near and far.
3. Offer Your Services to Those Who Serve
Being a military family is all about serving others and our country well. Thanking military families can be as simple as creating a job opportunity for a military spouse such as a virtual assistant so they can work from wherever they are, or waitressing, which gives them flexibility in their shift. Another way to serve a military family can look like running errands for the family of a deployed service member, or volunteering to keep an eye on a military family’s children or pets for a moment of respite.
4. Give a Thoughtful Gift
Gifts can be a memorable way to thank a military family for their sacrifices. Long after the time of your presence has surpassed or the opportunity to serve a military family comes back around, a simple thank you card or a thoughtful gift can remind a military family of what they once knew as home. Your gift can be cherished for years to come and serve as a constant reminder of your gratitude.
5. Support Military Organizations
Supporting military organizations like the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) is an impactful way of thanking military families. The ASYMCA strengthens military families by providing free or low-cost programs and services that help them navigate the challenges of military life.
This Military Family Appreciation Month, the ASYMCA launched their second “A Salute to Their Service” Military Family Giveaway to celebrate the strength, courage and service of our military families by inviting all active U.S. junior-enlisted military families to share their stories for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree!
While service members are the backbone of our country, their families are pillars of strength for them. For a service member to do their job, and do it well, they depend on their family’s support.
Let National Military Family Appreciation Month be a reminder to celebrate service members’ families each and every day.