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Honoring the many sacrifices made by the brave men and women who protect the United States should be a civil duty for all, and the month of May is one that does just that. Military Appreciation Month is a time in which individuals and organizations across the country are encouraged to give a little extra to charities that help our veterans, and those who are currently serving.

Throughout the year, many people are still inclined to give what they can to service members as a thank you for all that they do. Military Appreciation Month is simply a time in which those efforts are brought to light much more, asking that everyone spend a little more time than usual to recognize the admirable efforts put forth by all branches of the United States Military.

Aside from thanking a military member in person, those wanting to express their gratitude can send a letter to someone overseas, or send care packages including personal hygiene goods and snacks. Volunteering is another great way to show your appreciation. There are many local veterans’ groups around the country, in addition to organizations hosting fundraising events. That being said, the following charities curated by CharityNavigator.org are some of the most highly rated in terms of services for our troops and veterans.

Air Warrior Courage Foundation

The AWCF was formed by military pilots who were devoted to taking care of their own. Working alongside the Red River Valley Fighter Pilots Association, members of the AWCF focus on military members of all sorts; those in active duty, on guard, retired personnel, and even their families. Financial assistance is provided to those who need it, as well as medical, educational, and outside expenses not typically covered by certain military branches or other organizations.

Pat Tillman Foundation

Named after former NFL defensive back Pat Tillman, this foundation is dedicated to offering resources and scholarships to veterans, active service members, and their spouses. Tillman selflessly gave his life to serving our country immediately following the September 11th World Trade Center attacks, turning down a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the United States Army. The foundation was started by his friends and family in 2004 following his death while serving in Afghanistan.

Homes For Our Troops

HFOT is a nonprofit organization that builds specially designed homes for veterans nationwide who have suffered life changing injuries post-9/11. These injuries include multiple limb amputations, paralysis, and/or traumatic brain injury. The homes that HFOT design are catered specifically to the needs of these veterans and their families to allow them to live the fullest lives possible. They are built wherever the veteran chooses to live, and are then met with regular check-ups to ensure that he/she is effectively rebuilding.