Senator Stachowski Recognizes America’s Valued Veterans & Active Service Members on Armed Forces Day

May 14, 2010

Senator William T. Stachowski (D, Lake View) reminds residents that every year, on the third Saturday of May, people across the nation honor past and present members of the United States military by commemorating their dedication and sacrifice on Armed Forces Day.

“This is a day to proudly salute the men and women in all branches of service who have dedicated their lives for our freedom, our safety and our way of life,” said Senator Stachowski.

Armed Forces Day traces its history to the establishment of the Department of Defense under President Harry S. Truman, who began this annual celebration to thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country, and remember all those who sacrificed to make our country what it is today.  The motto of the very first Armed Forces Day, in 1949, was “Teamed for Defense.”  Today, the Department of Defense has declared this year’s motto to be “United in Strength.”

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy marked Armed Services Day saying, "...Word to the Nation:  Guard zealously your right to serve in the Armed Forces, for without them, there will be no other rights to guard."

“We must never become complacent or take our freedom and liberty for granted,” said Senator Stachowski.  “We must always remember that the price of freedom is never free.  We must always appreciate the dedication, hard work and sacrifice of our service men and women as they are truly the defenders of our past, our present and indeed our future.”

To thank our veterans, current service members and their families, Senator Stachowski recommends that residents consider:

• Attending a military base Armed Forces Day open house: Talk to the men and women on duty. Ask questions. Learn what it is like to serve.

• Volunteering: Honor the spirit of today's all-volunteer military by lending a hand or signing up to help in a disaster-relief project, or dishing up food at a local soup kitchen.

• Taking a service member to lunch, or visiting a veteran in the hospital.

• Donating to a charity that serves members of the military, such as the National Military Family Association ( or Homes for Our Troops (