Military Spouse Appreciation Day 2023Updated: December 23, 2022
National Military Spouse Appreciation Day is a presidentially-approved holiday celebrated on the Friday before Mother’s Day in May. This year it was observed on Friday, May 12, 2023.
On Military Spouse Appreciation Day we honor the contributions and sacrifices made by military spouses. Their commitment and support help to keep our country safe. America’s military spouses are the backbone of the families who support our troops during mission, deployment, reintegration, and reset. Military spouses are silent heroes who are essential to the nation’s strength, and they serve our country just like their loved ones.
In celebration of Military Spouse Appreciation Day, the armed forces have special events and programs to inform, honor, and recognize military spouses around the world. Events range from spouse appreciation luncheons to educational workshops, and spouse employment fairs that pay tribute to military spouses.
Military Spouse Appreciation Day Ideas
Here are a few ways that you can show your appreciation to your military spouse.
- Give your military spouse a day off
- Do something he or she hates doing
- Give a token of appreciation, e.g., a care package, gift card, flowers, or anything they love
- Say “Thank You” but be creative in expressing thanks
- Have a day of pampering together
- Make dinner or surprise your spouse with breakfast
- Watch a movie or show you’d rather not watch but that they love
- Do something to solve one of their problems
- Create a coupon book for them
- Give your military spouse a list of reasons why you appreciate them
- For deployed troops, send a video message or ecard showing your appreciation
Virtual Events & Celebration
Check with your local base for virtual events and celebrations. Here are a few national virtual celebrations available to all military spouses.
- Join the Blue Star Families virtual Military Spouse Appreciation Day Town Hall on Friday, May 6 at 3 PM EST. The event will begin with a special thank you to military spouses from Mrs. Karen Pence, Second Lady of the United States. Register for Friday’s event.
- Nominate a Milspouse to Receive Free Coffee at Starbucks.
- If you’re a Military Spouse Entrepreneur, join makeHer for a one-of-a-kind event, filled with lots of fun, games, and giveaways.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan recognized the profound importance of spousal commitment to the readiness and well-being of military members with Proclamation 5184, dated April 17, 1984. Congress officially made Military Spouse Appreciation Day part of National Military Appreciation Month in 1999. Subsequently, the Department of Defense standardized the date by declaring the Friday before Mother’s Day every year as “Military Spouse Appreciation Day” to show appreciation for the sacrifices of military spouses.
Military OneSource also recognizes all of May as Military Spouse Appreciation month where they offer up events and helpful resources to recognize military spouse contributions and to reinforce their resilience.
“There is another group which deserves special thanks—the wives of our servicemen, wives who take care of the families and raise the children while their husbands are at sea or stationed far away, and wives who have left our shores to be in a faraway land with their husbands…Their contribution is critical…The understanding and encouragement they give our servicemen is something we must all be grateful for.” ~President Ronald Reagan.
“Military spouses, who stand alongside our men and women in uniform, share in our service members’ heroic endeavors through selfless service, immeasurable contributions, and noble sacrifices. Through their dedication to their loved ones, military spouses support the mission of our Armed Forces to defend our Nation and preserve our liberty. On Military Spouse Day, we pay tribute to these extraordinary individuals who strengthen and enrich our fighting forces, our communities, and our Republic.” ~Donald Trump, President of the United States of America
Military Spouse Benefits
The military community, non-profits, and businesses show their appreciation for military spouses in many ways. Here are a few military spouse benefits:
- Tuition Assistance/Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA)
- Military Spouse Scholarships
- Free On-Base Classes
- Military Discounts
- National Park and Federal Recreational Land Pass
- Morale, Welfare & Recreation
- Military Lodging, Hotels & Travel
- Military Spouse Tax Benefits
- Employment Opportunities
- License Transfer
- Unemployment Compensation due to PCS
Read more about these military spouse benefits.