National Military Appreciation Month (NMAM) is celebrated every May and is a declaration that encourages U.S. citizens to observe the month in a symbol of unity. NMAM honors the current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those who have died in the pursuit of freedom.  The month of May is characterized by six national observances which highlight the contributions of those who have served.

The 6 National Observances during National Military Appreciation Month

The month of May is set aside as Military Appreciation Month. It’s another chance to say thank you to all of our service members, past and present. America and her liberties exist because you fought, and continue to fight for them. Thank you for your service.

The month of May is set aside as Military Appreciation Month. It’s another chance to say thank you to all of our service members, past and present. America and her liberties exist because you fought, and continue to fight for them. Thank you for your service.

Loyalty Day
Date: Wednesday, May 1st, 2019
About: Loyalty Day kicks off our Nation’s month-long celebration of military appreciation.  It is a day set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States, and to reflect on the proud heritage of our American freedom.

Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW)
Date: Sunday, May 5th – Saturday, May 11th, 2019. Celebrated the first full week in May.
About: A time set aside to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county and local government employees and ensure that our government is the best in the world.

Victory in Europe Day AKA V-E Day or VE Day
Date: Wednesday, May 8th, 2019
About: May 8th, 1945 is the day when Germans throughout Europe unconditionally surrendered to the Allies. This day marked the end of World War II in Europe.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day
Date: Friday, May 10th, 2019. Traditionally set for the Friday before Mother’s Day.
About: A day to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities.  Recognizes the important role our military families play in keeping our Armed Forces strong and our country safe.

Armed Forces Day
Date: Saturday, May 18th, 2019. Celebrated the third Saturday in May every year.
About: A single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.  This day honors everyone serving in the U.S. Military branches; Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy. There is also Armed Forces Week which typically leads up to Armed Forces Day, although it is not an official observance, many activities are planned nonetheless during the week.

Memorial Day
Date: Monday, May 27th, 2019. A Federal holiday observed on the last Monday in May.
About: A remembrance of our veterans.  Commemorates the men and women who died while in military service.

History of NMAM

In 1999 Senator John McCain introduced legislation to designate the month of May as National Military Appreciation Month. Both the Senate and House of Representatives adopted resolutions calling for Americans to recognize and honor U.S. Service Members during NMAM. These proclamations also urge the President to issue a proc
The month of May is set aside as Military Appreciation Month. It’s another chance to say thank you to all of our service members, past and present. America and her liberties exist because you fought, and continue to fight for them. Thank you for your service. lamation calling on the people of the United States to observe NMAM.


Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery

301 South County Trail, Exeter, Rhode Island 02822


“Rhode Island ECHOTAPS 2019″ (LISTEN HERE)

Hello all players and volunteers, Well the sun is getting higher and the shadows are getting shorter. I hope you all fared this late winter.This is our 14th consecutive year of Echotaps! Spring is here and that means Armed Forces Day will be upon us shortly. As in previous years, Volunteer brass players and anyone who would like to volunteer for this event are being recruited from around the Rhode Island And Mass. and Ct. areas to perform the 24 notes of“Taps” on Saturday May 18, 2019 in recognition of Armed forces Day. Our state of Rhode Island will participate in this undertaking at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery in Exeter.

Place: Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery Exeter, RI Saturday May 18th. 2019 Sign up time : 11:00 AM at this time coffee and
donuts will be served donated by Dunkin Donuts of Post Road North Kingstown Play time 12:00 PM

THIS YEAR 2019 WILL BE A TRI STATE EVENT. Thank you all who participated in 06,07,08, 09, 10, 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18 and we hope you can all do it again in in 2020

“Each day, America loses about 1,800 of its veterans, primarily those who fought in World War II and Korea, & VIETNAM.” “In their honor it is important that our Nation preserves the tradition of a live bugler to play final military honors.”

Once again we are inviting all brass players. Tubas, baritones, trombones, French horns, flugelhorns, trumpets and of course bugles. To honor the G bugles we will be sounding “taps” in the key of G. For all Bb instruments that is valves 1&2 or just valve 3 position.

During the event, players will form a line around the WW ll Memorial and perform a cascading version of Taps. After the first assigned player begins “Taps” the player to the right will begin his playing after the third note…………and so on until the last player. Then we will all meet at the center of the WWll Monument and play “Taps” en mass.

I hope to see you all again this year, and hope to see some new faces. So Please mention our event to your fellow brass player musician friends young and old. As we get closer to this years “Echotaps” I will inform all of you who are youngest and oldest players will be. There will be (Dunkin Donuts) coffee and donuts at the sign-in table and refreshments for all after the event. Thank you all so much for your participation in past years and we all hope to continue this wonderful event for many years to come! Please respond to this email via email so we can estimate our attendance this year! Best, Mike Jackson Contacts: Mr. Michael Jackson home 401 782-6133 cell 401-996-1811 Exeter Veterans Memorial Cemetery (401) 268-3088


We offer a safe place to share thoughts, concerns, and any personal stories that are kept solely within the group.

I am a military mom, one of many elite women. I stand beside my child with courage, strength and dignity. While I am not on the battlefield or in the foxhole, I am in the heart, mind and the character of my soldier sons and daughters.I support the Band of Mothers, who know just how I feel. Sharing encouragement, stories, laughter and tears for days or months or years.

Our sons and daughters were called to duty. (Listen)

We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 6 pm at the Beacon Mutual Insurance Company- One Beacon Centre, Warwick, RI 02886 (off of Kilvert St.)


We offer a safe place to share thoughts, concerns, and any personal stories that are kept solely within the group.

I am a soldier’s mother; I sometimes march alone
And yet I stand with many, trying to be strong.
You may not recognize me as you pass me on the street; I may look like any other that you by chance might meet.
Like any mother, in a lot of ways I still remain,
But watching my son become a soldier brought a forever change.
For deep down inside where you cannot see
My own battle rages that’s as real as it can be.
It starts with feeling pride in all he has become,
But often worry creeps in before the day is done.
Then there is his absence that never will seem right –
The days without a word that causes many sleepless nights.
And at the sight of another soldier, my heart skips a beat,
For it reminds me of my own, and that face I’d love to see.
And I have a deeper sense of the sacrifices our heroes make;
I can see the hardships on the families – the loneliness, the heartache.
But in spite of all that’s raging, this mother’s love holds strong
As I’m wrapped in God’s peace and comfort and given strength to go on.
© Cynthia Gibbs

Who We Are

The Rhode Island Blue Star Moms is a military support group specially dedicated to supporting our Veterans, troops and assisting the mothers and families who have children who volunteered to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.

A chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America, the RI Blue Star Moms provide military family support throughout the state of RI. Throughout the year, we create and send military care packages to show our loved ones that they are our heroes, that we appreciate their service and that we continue to support them while they are away from home.We share our concerns, our support, our pride and our devotion for our loved ones serving in the United States Armed Forces. Through various events and activities, we support fellow Blue Star Moms, associate members, our children serving in the military, our veterans and our community. We provide military family support to benefit our members and their families and we promote causes that will benefit military personnel through a military advocacy program.The RI Blue Star Moms is a non-partisan, non-sectarian, non-discriminatory and non-profit organization. Our mission is to support fellow Blue Star members, their sons, daughters and any other family members who are currently serving or have served in the United States military. The Service flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display by families who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities the United States may be engaged in for the duration of such hostilities.



2nd Annual Gold Star Gala

Reserve Your Tickets Here

2nd Annual Gold Star GalaJoin Operation Stand Down RI for our 2nd Annual Gold Star Gala. The Gala, to be held at Twin River Casino on Friday, May 18, 2018 is a night to honor Rhode Island’s Gold Star Families post 9/11. The term “Gold Star” refers to a family member who had a loved one killed in action during a war time in a foreign country while serving their nation. On this night, we honor the families left behind, remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and to raise money for the Boots on The Ground for Heroes Memorial.


2nd Annual Gold Star Gala

This year the Gala is honored to announce our keynote speaker:  Lt. Colonel Justin Constantine, USMC, Retired. Our speaker, Justin Constantine joined the U.S. Marine Corps while in law school at the University of Denver School of Law and served as a JAG officer for six years.  As a reservist, Justin deployed to Iraq in 2006, serving as a Civil Affairs Team Leader while attached to an infantry battalion.  During a combat patrol, Justin was shot in the head by a sniper. For his service in Iraq, Justin earned the Purple Heart Combat Action Ribbon and Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal. Justin retired from the Marine Corps at the rank of Lt. Colonel.  He is now an inspirational speaker and veteran advocate.


Boots on The Ground for Heroes MemorialThe Gold Star Gala will be the official kick off to OSDRI’s presentation of the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial at Roger Williams Park, Memorial Day Weekend. In 2016, OSDRI launched the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial with the widely acclaimed and dramatic display of nearly 7,000 military boots adorned with name placards and flags representing each American service member killed in the Global War on Terror. The first of its kind, the display garnered local and national news coverage for the past two years and continues to grow






On a comfortable Friday afternoon I had the pleasure of meeting with Karen Dalton at her Dare to Dream Ranch on Snagwood road in Foster, RI.
When you arrive at the ranch you are met by 2 super friendly dogs, Bear and Bella, who wag themselves silly while the 3 goats, Frick, Frack & Frank, are also bleating their hello’s. As we walked through the barn with the fresh smell of shavings and hay Karen explained her vision for converting the barn into a woodworking workshop when they build their indoor riding arena with attached barn that would have a loft apartment above for a qualified veteran to stay for free as the caretaker for the property.
We arrived at the first paddock where a gorgeous Percheron/Gypsy Vanner Draft cross named Seargent Xander and his sidekick Corporal Buzz. Xander sometimes is a bit skiddish with his own trust issues. So a slow approach and soft voice is the best approach for making friends with this beautiful huge horse. Next door is Captain Blue, named for his beautiful brilliant blue eye. He is as friendly as Seargent Xander is reserved. He was having fun moving the miniature horses , Freedom and Spirit, out of the way so he could their hay. Spirit enjoyed trying to nibble my hair through the fence while I was petting her and Blue. Hard not to relax and just chat with so much peace surrounding you. We visited the 2 senior, yet still very noble, Arabians names Ishrab and Tabitha.
I had the pleasure of watching Steve Frye, 2x Iraq Combat Vet, not only riding Sgt. Xander, but also learning to train him. Steve only began riding and working with horses 4 months ago! I was impressed to watch Steve’s ease of haltering Sgt. Xander in the paddock, saddling him and especially riding him! 4 months is not a long time for someone to learn to ride, build trust with a horse who has trust issues and build your own confidence in the saddle. I was able to watch Steve achieve all of this and with such confidence and pride!
As Karen & I strolled through the wooded paths listening to the quiet we discussed her dreams for future expansion of the facility, the paddocks, the rings and the trails. She shared some of the positive results of Veterans, and their families, who have already visited the Ranch for equine therapy (equine assisted coaching/ground therapy) , yoga, horticulture therapy and nutrition education, woodworking, and fly tying/fishing.
On a quiet, sunny Friday afternoon we both Dared to Dream of our hopes for Veterans and their families who will visit in the future.

Rhonda Ziehl, USAF,
RI Blue Star Moms


The R.I. Blue Star Moms volunteered Saturday June 11th and June 12th at the R.I. National Guard Air Show.  Blue Star Moms sold novelties and refreshments.   Thanks to all the Blue Star Moms who volunteered their time! Also, thanks to all who purchased from our booth and cart!