Honor Our Military Family This Memorial Day

Honor Our Military Family This Memorial Day
Patrick Albright/Army

As MOAA members, we understand the sacrifices required to be a part of the uniformed services community. This Memorial Day, as we honor those we’ve lost, I hope you will take a moment to appreciate the community surrounding and supporting us, and to join MOAA in giving back to its members in need.


Some would say the military is a “family business,” as many new recruits come from families with servicemembers past and present. These families are the backbone of our all-volunteer force; their members understand the dangers and challenges, the long hours, the multiple moves, the deployments … and they continue to answer the call.


Like all families, this community takes pride in its roots and traditions. They date back centuries and are much older than Memorial Day itself, with its history stemming from Decoration Day ceremonies in the aftermath of the Civil War.


MOAA members appreciate this history, and the need to continue this line of service – the need to instill future generations with the desire to be a part of this community. That means not only honoring those we’ve lost, but providing for those they’ve left behind and supporting those who care for veterans suffering from the wounds of service, both visible and invisible.


That’s why MOAA continues its work to preserve benefits for our uniformed services family – to ensure those who’ve been exposed to toxins while in service receive the care they both deserve and require, and those injured in combat can receive the compensation they’ve earned.


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This Memorial Day, we’ll join members of our military family standing tall at parades and taking part in local and national ceremonies. We’ll also join them planting flags and placing flowers. As we come together to remember those we’ve lost, join me in continuing MOAA’s commitment to never stop serving our nation and our uniformed services community.


I will take time to remember my Executive Officer Maj. David Brodeur, killed in an attack at Kabul International Airport in Spring 2011. I presented his medals to his son, David, at the graveside service. His wife Susie is one of our surviving spouses and a dear friend. 


Whether you mark the day privately or join others in your community to pay tribute, take the time to remember their sacrifice on behalf of our nation. I recall one veteran making the case in a simple yet meaningful manner while paying for his meal: When a waiter said "thank you for your service," the veteran replied, "You were worth it." 


Every Officer Has Two Families

For over 90 years, MOAA has been working to get servicemembers and their families the benefits they deserve.


About the Author

Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret)
Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret)

Atkins served as the ninth president of MOAA, leaving office in January 2023.