Celebrating Armed Forces Day 2024

Armed Forces Day is a national holiday celebrated on the third Saturday in May. This year, it falls on May 18, in the middle of Military Appreciation Month.

Established by President Truman in 1949, Armed Forces Day is intended to honor the sacrifices and dedication of American service members across all branches of the U.S. military.

During a 1950 presidential address, President Truman remarked:

“Armed Forces Day marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, toward the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.”

A decade later, in 1962, President John F. Kennedy formally recognized Armed Forces Day as an official national holiday.

This Armed Forces Day, be sure to take a moment to remember the immense sacrifices of our service members and participate in any local celebrations like military air shows, parades, and education exhibits.

As a national personal injury and mesothelioma law firm, Sokolove Law has successfully helped thousands of military veterans injured by exposure to asbestos, PFAS chemicals, contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, and more.

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Find out how you can get involved on Armed Forces Day and pay tribute to our nation's defenders.

Recognizing the U.S. Armed Forces for Their Sacrifices

It’s tough to quantify just how much members of the U.S. military have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice so that civilians around the country can keep the freedoms they enjoy every day.

During Military Appreciation Month, it’s important to honor all who have defended these freedoms, including active duty personnel, veterans, and those who gave their lives to protect the American liberty and democracy we hold so dear.

Unfortunately, military service can take a heavy toll on any soldier, both physically and mentally. Many of the men and women in our Armed Forces endure hardships as a result of protecting our country.

Service-related health issues can include: 

  • Amputations
  • Anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation
  • Asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma or lung cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Exposure to hazardous substances
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance abuse disorder
  • Traumatic brain injury

Such challenges are often intertwined. For instance, a soldier injured during service may now suffer from chronic pain, leading to substance abuse. Similarly, PTSD, anxiety, and depression can all coexist, increasing the risk of suicide.

Though it’s not as commonly discussed, soldiers also face the risk of exposure to toxic substances like arsenic and asbestos.

These hardships, both visible and invisible, underscore the importance of supporting our troops on days like Armed Forces Day and throughout the year.

Understanding Military Asbestos Exposure Risks

Military veterans make up 33% of all new mesothelioma diagnoses in the U.S., a cancer that can develop 20-50 years after military asbestos exposure.

Virtually every naval ship had asbestos on board for most of the 20th century, putting U.S. Navy veterans at the greatest risk of exposure and mesothelioma.

However, every branch of the military utilized asbestos in some way:

Thankfully, veterans with asbestos-related diseases are often able to secure mesothelioma compensation in addition to benefits from the VA.

“We tell our veterans that you should always file the mesothelioma lawsuit because it is a place where you're going to get full compensation. Don't fall into the trap that the VA claim is your best and only solution.”
– Ricky LeBlanc, Managing Attorney at Sokolove Law

Contact Sokolove Law now if you or a loved one has an asbestos-related disease. Compensation may be available.

How to Participate in Armed Forces Day

There are many different ways to get involved on Armed Forces Day and show your support for members of the military.

Here are some meaningful actions you can take: 

  • Attend a Parade: Going to a parade is a powerful way to collectively express support. Waving signs, cheering loudly, and offering kind words can demonstrate your appreciation for past and present military personnel. Look online to see if a nearby town is planning to host a parade in honor of Armed Forces Day.
  • Go to a Public Military Display: Each state has its own statues, monuments, parks, and installations that serve as poignant reminders of the sacrifices made by our nation's soldiers. Take the time to learn more and pay your respects.
  • Thank a Veteran in Your Life: Express your gratitude to a veteran in your life by reaching out with a call, text, or heartfelt letter. Showing appreciation for their service and sacrifice can mean a great deal.
  • Visit a Memorial or Military Cemetery: While Memorial Day is dedicated to fallen members of the U.S. military, Armed Forces Day offers another opportunity to honor those who have passed away. Take the opportunity to visit cemeteries or memorials in your area.
  • Volunteer with a Military Organization: Consider volunteering to show your support for our service members and their families. Whether it's assisting older veterans, creating care packages for those overseas, or supporting military families, your efforts make a real difference.

There are many other ways to demonstrate your support for the U.S. military and the individuals who are a part of it. Whatever you choose to do, be sure it is done with respect, honor, and dignity, the qualities by which members of the U.S. Armed Forces live.

Let's ensure that our servicemen and women, past and present, know their sacrifices are deeply appreciated and were not made in vain.

Help for Veterans and Their Loved Ones

At Sokolove Law, we are committed to supporting veterans today and every day of the year. Our team understands the unique challenges faced by members of the military, particularly those affected by service-related diseases.

As a national mesothelioma law firm, we can help families in all 50 states take legal action for illnesses caused by military asbestos exposure.

Our firm has recovered over $9.4 Billion total for injured clients, including more than $1.3 Billion for veterans with mesothelioma and their loved ones.

We are deeply honored to have the opportunity to give back to those who have served our country. It’s our privilege to support veterans and their families by seeking justice and securing the compensation they deserve.

With VA-accredited attorneys on staff, we can also help veterans file VA claims and pursue a 100% disability rating for mesothelioma.

Call (800) 647-3434 now if you or a veteran you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. It costs nothing to speak with us.

Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: May 17, 2024

  1. CNN Newsroom. “Armed Forces Day Fast Facts.” Retrieved from: https://abc17news.com/news/national-world/2021/05/09/armed-forces-day-fast-facts/. Accessed on May 17, 2024.
  2. National Library of Medicine. “Veterans and Military Health.” Retrieved from: https://medlineplus.gov/veteransandmilitaryhealth.html. Accessed on May 17, 2024.
  3. U.S. Department of Defense. "Armed Forces Day History." Retrieved from: https://afd.defense.gov/History/. Accessed on May 17, 2024.