With Memorial Day sales spewing from your inbox and blaring non stop from your TV as well as the hoards of people heading out of town to rev up the grills and celebrate what is known as the official start of summer, the true meaning of this holiday is often lost and completely forgotten.
The fact is that Decoration Day (aka Memorial Day) was first recognized in 1882 to remember the men and women who died while serving. Along the way, it was changed to what we now know as Memorial Day, but the significance has seemed to disappear.
So this Memorial Day, honor the fallen and pay tribute to the active and retired service men and women by giving back. By paying it forward - whatever the amount or time may be - will forever make an impact on these lives. Because after all, without them, we may not have the right we all call freedom.
Mission: Financial and recovery assistance for wounded service members.
Puppies Behind Bars
Mission: Helps to mitigate the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and TBI (traumatic brain injury).
Milestones: Since 2008, the organization has paired 66 service dogs with wounded veterans in 26 states, and trained more than 350 explosive-detection dogs to work with law enforcement agencies around the country.
Homes for Our Troops
Mission: Builds mortgage-free and specially adapted houses for multiple amputees and veterans with traumatic brain injuries.
Milestones: Since inception, they have built nearly 170 homes, with another 50 currently underway.
Mission: Distributes need-based college, technical, and vocational school scholarships to the children and spouses of active duty U.S. military members.
Milestones: Since it was founded, the organization has awarded 3,500 scholarships totaling almost $10 million.