2020-2021 National Americanism Ambassador
Winter holidays are behind us and it’s time to look ahead to spring holidays. Some are patriotic in nature and others are not. However, we can add our own patriotic touches to every holiday!
- March 13: K9 Veterans Day – Man and dog have worked hand in paw since the seventh century. At that time dogs would guard homesteads and flocks. Throughout the years the bond between man and our furry friends has grown and jobs have become more complex. The canine corps was officially formed in 1942, giving these animals the status of active military members. They are part of every branch of the military and receive a military funeral if killed while on duty. K9’s can be trained for many tasks including protecting humans, sniffing out IED’S, weapons, explosives and drugs. There are numerous charities that assist military dogs and memorials to honor these brave service members. Find out if you have a K9 (War Dog) memorial in your area and post a Flag or place a wreath (red, white and blue of course) to remember them. If there is not a memorial in your area, donate pet supplies to a local animal shelter or veteran in need. Read more about military working dogs (MWD) and K9 Veterans Day: https://militarybenefits.info/k9-veterans-day
- March 17: St. Patrick’s Day – Share the Luck o’ the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! Ways to celebrate include:
- Have a virtual St. Patty’s coffee on Zoom.
- Invite local veterans and youth to make red, white and blue shamrock cards. Deliver or send the cards to homebound or hospitalized veterans.
- Add an American Flag to those beautiful St. Patty’s Day wreaths you will display on your door or your window.
- Wear Auxiliary attire and ride on a float or march in a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
- March 20: First Day of Spring – This winter has been challenging, with record-setting low temperatures, and dangerous ice and snowstorms across our nation. Many of us are ready to see flowers bloom, trees bud and grass turn green. Spring is also a time to clean, refresh and renew our home and yard.
- Look at the American Flag on display at your home. Replace it if tattered or torn.
- Add an American Flag to flower arrangements or wreaths.
- Put an American Flag decal on your car.
- March 29: National Vietnam War Veterans Day – On March 29, 2012, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 29, 2012, as Vietnam Veterans Day. The proclamation called “upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the Vietnam War.”
On December 26, 2016, the Vietnam Veterans Day Coalition of States Council presented a letter to President Elect Donald Trump and Congressional leadership outlining the history and timeline of cause to establish March 29 as Vietnam War Veterans Day and requesting that it be one of the first legislations passed and signed into law during the 115 Congress.
On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017. This act officially recognizes March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The Act also includes the day among those days on which the US flag should especially be displayed.
March 29 was chosen as National Vietnam War Veterans Day because on March 29, 1973, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) was disbanded, and the last U.S. combat troops departed the Republic of Vietnam. The last unit was elements of MACV’s Infantry Security Force (Special Guard), special couriers. (source: Wikipedia: National Vietnam War Veterans Day)
“Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another” is the founding principal of the Vietnam Veterans of America.
What can we do for our Vietnam veterans?
- Honor and respect them as we do all other veterans and service members.
- Send a thank you card with an American Flag on it to your local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter.
- Drop off some goodies to a homebound or disabled Vietnam veteran, local nursing home, VA facility or veterans outreach center.
Tell them, “Welcome home and thank you for your service.” This simple statement goes a long way!
- April 4: Easter – Celebrate with egg-cellent activities for all ages. Ideas include:
- Add an American Flag to your Easter wreath.
- Place patriotic items in Easter baskets:
- American Flag stickers
- Patriotic coloring books
- A red, white and blue stuffed animal
- A book from the Patriotism through Literacy suggested book list
- An American Flag
- Host an Easter egg hunt with red, white and blue eggs.
- Wear Auxiliary attire and ride on a float or march in an Easter parade.
- April 5: Gold Star Spouses Day – This day honors spouses of service members who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces.
An organization known as Gold Star Wives began operating before the end of the Second World War, and the Gold Star lapel button tradition was established in the summer of 1947.
All of this set the stage for Gold Star Spouses Day, which began as Gold Star Wives Day-the first of which occurred in December 2010. Two years later a Senate resolution codified Gold Star Wives Day, observed on April 5 each year. Later guidance changed the recognition to be more inclusive. Today the event is known as Gold Star Spouses Day, though many still use “Gold Star Wives Day” interchangeably with Gold Star Spouses Day. Learn more: https://militarybenefits.info/gold-star-spouses-day/
I challenge each of you to continue thinking outside the box! Look for a veteran and their family who may need some help and offer some assistance. Look for American Flags in your neighborhood or at local businesses that are not looking so healthy and offer to replace it.
Remember those people in your communities who display their Flag and acknowledge them with a certificate so they can be recognized and appreciated.
In closing I wish you all a healthy and prosperous new year! Continue Honoring Our Mission to Serve Veterans as we stay true to our Red, White and Blue!