Military Appreciation Day is Every Day

With Veterans Day fast approaching, it behooves all adults to better familiarize our youth on what the day symbolizes for Americans. It is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. The name of the day changed from the original name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954.  November 11 is a National Holiday honoring our heroes and signifies respect for the service they have given to protect us. There will be no mail delivery by postal workers, but many retail establishments and restaurants offer discounts or free meals to veterans. School is usually in session that day, also.

Being a teenager during the Vietnam War, I was well aware of the “draft” that brought young people into the military. As a girl with a boy’s name, I was accidentally given a number until it was rapidly corrected. Males at the time were tensely waiting for the lottery, one of which you didn’t receive a monetary prize. When soldiers returned from their service, many demonstrators met them with negative responses, even spitting upon them for going to war. The reaction by Americans in this decade is much more appreciative and positive. As the wife and daughter of veterans, I wholeheartedly thank these brave soldiers for their service in the US military. Included here are support materials for all ages dealing with military families, our heroes, and the veterans when they return to home life.

Dinner with the Smiley'sDinner with the Smiley’s: One Military Family, One Year of Heroes, and Lessons for a Lifetime by Sarah Smiley. 9781401324872. Gr. 11-adult.
The author chronicles her year-long effort to fill her husband’s spot at the dinner table while he was away on military deployment. Smiley reveals how she managed to get individuals ranging from politicians to celebrities to join her in her home, and discusses with her family the meaning of military service to our country and others in the same situation.


Let's Celebrate Veterans DayLet’s Celebrate Veterans Day by Barbara Derubertis. 9781575656533. Gr. 1-3.
This is a great foundational book to succinctly describe the five branches of the U.S. military and explain how Armistice Day began to “honor all veterans, living and deceased.” The photographs are a welcome addition for young readers.



Unconditional honorUnconditional Honor: Wounded Warriors and Their Dogs by Cathy Scott and Clay Myers. 9781493003297. Gr. 11-Adult
Accounts of healing relationships between therapy dogs and injured military personnel are presented in this well done book. It is an overview of the forty-year history of therapy dogs working with wounded veterans, the training and selection processes the dogs undergo, and the organizations and groups that train and make the dogs available to returning troops.


Misadventures of the Magician's DogThe Misadventures of the Magician’s Dog by Frances Sackett. 9780823428694. Gr. 3-6.
Peter brings a dog home from the shelter that has amazing traits and can talk. The dog tells Peter he wants to release his former owner from a terrible magic spell. The dog will reciprocate by teaching Peter magic, thus helping him deal with his hurt and anger of having his military father deployed in the Middle East.


Saturday BoySaturday Boy by David Fleming. 9780670785513. Gr. 5-8.
It has been eight months since fifth grade Derek has seen his father who is deployed in Afghanistan flying an Apache helicopter. Derek is trying hard to manage but his former best friend now bullies him, his mother is moody, and he truly misses his beloved father. A role in a school play introduces Derek to a supportive group. This book shares vividly the experiences of a child with a parent in the military.


Always FaithfulAlways Faithful by Patrick Jones. 9781467780933. Gr. 8-12.
Rosie finds her life and anger spinning out of control when her former Marine Corps father announces he is reenlisting. Her father was in the military for eighteen years and struggled as a civilian when he came home. Families are affected by military life, before, during and after active duty.



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