Day of the Deployed originated in North Dakota in 2006. North Dakotan Shelle Michaeles Aberle petitioned North Dakota governor John Hoevento to honor service members currently deployed and acknowledge the sacrifices made during deployment by military families. The day was proclaimed by Governor Hoevento on October 26, 2006, which was Aberle’s cousin LTC David Hosna’s birthday (who was deployed in Iraq at the time).
Since 2006, states quickly began adapting Day of the Deployed and by 2012 all 50 states were observing the day after the U.S. Senate proclaimed the day in 2011. The work our military heroes do and the sacrifices their families endure while they are deployed are often unsung, so Day of the Deployed is an opportunity to shine a light and share your gratitude for our military heroes.
Here are a few ways to show your support to our deployed military heroes:
Write a letter: One of the most direct ways to thank a service member currently deployed, is to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and compose a thank you letter. It’s a chance to remind service members that they are appreciated. Organizations including Operation Gratitude and Doing Good Together make getting thank you letters to service members easy.
Put together a care package: Care packages are a great way to be thoughtful and helpful to our military service members stationed overseas. Operation Gratitude also helps facilitate getting care packages to deployed service members. You can even find wish lists of what to pack, and do special initiatives such as candy donations around Halloween.
Spread the word on social media: Post about Day of the Deployed using #DayOfTheDeployed, and also use that hashtag to search and connect with others talking about the day!
Donate: Our service members are fighting for us everyday, and sometimes, they’re injured both in and out of combat. One of the most common injuries they sustain is a Traumatic Brain Injury. And one of the most common ailments they suffer as a result of their service is Post-Traumatic Stress. The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is working to address these injuries through the construction of Intrepid Spirit Centers at military bases around the country. Help us complete our next center today with a donation.
Saying “thank you” to our service members can be as simple as speaking two words, or as much as putting together a heartfelt care package to our deployed troops. What matters most is that you take a few moments on the Day of the Deployed to acknowledge and express gratitude for everything our service members and their families sacrifice for our country.