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Community sets aside 10 days for veterans


Veterans Day gives us a day to pause and show appreciation for the men and women who have made personal sacrifices to serve our nation.

Here in Kokomo, Indiana, we don’t think one day is good enough. So, we’re taking 10.

And those 10 days — set for Nov. 5-14 in 2016 — are called Military Appreciation Days. Since 2009, it’s an annual celebration that honors all active military personnel and veterans.

Because citizens in Kokomo and Howard County have a long-standing tradition of service in the Armed Forces, the community wanted to do more to honor the sacrifices made by so many. That first year, 38 businesses were involved, with each giving veterans free or discounted services.

Discounts ranging from chiropractic services to free lawnmower blade sharpening to uniform cleaning to car washes to movie rentals to a number of food discounts were available to veterans in Kokomo and Howard County.

In 2012, the Military Foundation of Howard County was created with the mission to help veterans in any way possible. The foundation now spearheads the event, which grows every year.

For 2016, there are 90 offerings being made available to veterans. Click here to see a complete list of offerings. 

Each year Military Appreciation Days begins with an opening ceremony during which the national anthem is played and proclamations are read. This year, it will be held at 10 a.m. Nov. 7 at City Hall. It includes recognition of the year’s honorary chairs — for 2016, it’s Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, Howard County Commissioner President Paul Wyman and the Howard County Vietnam Veterans.

Organizers say they hope the annual event shows military personnel and veterans that their service has not gone unnoticed. They want citizens to understand that the sacrifices made to ensure the continuation of the freedoms we enjoy are a gift that can never be reciprocated in full.

It’s for those reasons that the event is held. It is only right that we recognize, honor and celebrate the sacrifice, courage and heroism of our community’s service members, past and present, and their families.