CHAMBERSBURG – The Franklin County Commissioners have proclaimed May 2023 to be Military Appreciation Month and are encouraging residents to honor the commitment and sacrifice made by current, former and fallen members of all branches of the U.S. armed forces.
Military Appreciation Month serves as a reminder of the important role U.S. armed forces have played in the history and development of the United States. Several observances throughout May – including Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, VE Day and Military Spouse Appreciation Day – give Americans an opportunity to value, recognize and honor the service and sacrifices made by all members of the U.S. military and their loved ones.
Over 1.4 million Americans are currently serving as active personnel in the U.S. armed forces. That includes many of those employed locally at Letterkenny Army Depot, which marked 80 years of serving the U.S. military in 2022.
Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the U.S. for the highest number of veterans, and Franklin County is home to more than 13,000 veterans. The Franklin County Office of Veterans Affairs is dedicated to serving the needs of those veterans and their families through benefit coordination, advocacy and outreach.
One such outreach effort includes Franklin County MilitaryShare. This program, made possible through a partnership with the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, provides fresh, nutritious food once a month, free of charge, to Franklin County families with at least one member who has served or is serving in the armed forces. Since its debut in May 2022, the program has grown to serve over 1,100 people each month.
The Veterans Affairs department will also be hosting a Veteran Appreciation Expo from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 27 at the Marine Corps League, Chambersburg. During this free drive-through event, Franklin County veterans can receive information on available resources and services along with a barbecue chicken meal.
Later this year, Franklin County Veterans Affairs will be hosting its seventh annual Veterans Affairs Golf Tournament, set for Sept. 1 at Penn National Golf Club in Fayetteville. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the Franklin County Veterans Affairs Outreach Fund. The fund supports programs like Operation Save-a-Vet, Save-a-Pet, Operation Rucks to Reins, Franklin County MilitaryShare and the annual We Salute You Scholarship, all of which are funded through community donations. The 2022 tournament raised a record $34,475 to benefit programs and other services for area veterans.
“Though Military Appreciation Month may be officially recognized in May, we are grateful for our servicemen and women every day of the year,” said Franklin County Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller. “We can never adequately express our thanks for the sacrifices these individuals and their families make on behalf of all Americans, but we hope that our outreach efforts demonstrate our support and appreciation for everything they do to keep us and our country safe.”
For more information on Franklin County Veterans Affairs outreach efforts, services or the outreach fund, contact the Franklin County Office of Veterans Affairs at 717-263-4326 or visit https://bit.ly/FCVeterans.