Senator Brian X. Foley (D – Blue Point) celebrated Armed Forces Day on Saturday, May 15th by visiting AmVets Post 18 in East Islip and recognizing the members for the work they do both for veterans and the community as a whole.
Armed Forces Day is celebrated every year on the third Saturday of May, and is an opportunity for people across the nation to honor past and present members of the United States military by commemorating their dedication and sacrifice. This day traces its history to the establishment of the Department of Defense under President Harry S. Truman, who began this annual celebration. The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated in 1949 with parades, open houses, receptions and air shows.
“We owe the men and women of our armed forces a debt of gratitude,” said Senator Foley. “They spend countless days, months, and sometimes years away from their loved ones so that we might enjoy time with our loved ones. They put themselves in harm’s way on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis so that we might enjoy the freedoms which are the building blocks of our country. The very least we can do in return is to say thank you.”
The theme of this year’s Armed Forces Day was “United in Strength.” Senator Foley acknowledged that this theme meant that not only is our military a unified force, but that we must be united behind our military.
“While it is important to pay tribute to the past and present members of our military on Armed Forces Day, it is essential that we thank and recognize them on a daily basis,” said Senator Foley. “I encourage the residents of my district to do what they can to support the men and women who are currently serving overseas, as well as the veterans of all wars who have returned home.”
Residents may support current service members through a variety of organizations. Those wishing to directly support an individual soldier or unit may get more information from AnySoldier, Inc. (www.anysoldier.com), a nationwide organization that connects service members who do not receive support from home with those looking to support them. Those wishing to donate supplies or participate in putting together care packages may get more information from Jacob’s Light Foundation (www.jacobsprogram.org), a local organization that organizes “pack outs” to send much-needed supplies to members of the armed forces serving overseas.