On May 30, 1999, Congress designated National Military Appreciation Month as a month-long observance. Congress chose May because of the many military related observances such as Memorial Day and Loyalty Day are celebrated and observed on that date.
National Military Appreciation Month, also known as Military Appreciation Month, is a month-long observance recognized in the United States, dedicated to people who are currently in the military or have resigned from duty. Each year, the observance runs from May 1 to May 31. Not only do we pause on Memorial Day to remember the sacrifice and service of those who gave all, but the month also holds several other military anniversaries and events, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day and Armed Forces day. (Military.com, 2023)
We asked our Vice President of Operations, Army Colonel James Porter what Military Appreciation Month means to him. James has served in the United States Army for 31 years, here’s what he had to say about his service, and one particular Major who made an impact on his career and his life.
“May is a dynamic month for many reasons. First and foremost, it is Military Appreciation Month. Every day, I get to read and delight in stories of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who have served honorably and faithfully. The stories are inspiring and uplifting and make me extremely proud to have served in my nations Army for 31 years.
Secondly, we celebrate Memorial Day in May. This year I wanted to share my memories of Major James Chinelo. James was on my Mobility team in 2015, 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), as we prepared for deployment. He was a high-speed officer whom many admired and emulated.
He was with us for a brief period after we deployed to Kuwait. The command needed great officers to serve as liaisons in Iraq and James was immediately selected for such a distinct and highly important role. A few months later, James was rushed out of theater and back to the states. At the time it happened, I was not given details as to why he was suddenly returned home.
I was later informed that a few months after returning home, Major Chinelo died from a very aggressive form of cancer. To this day, I think of him often. At the time of his death, he left behind a wife and a newborn child. His absence still impacts me today as much as it impacted me when he was left my team. He was a great Husband, Father, Soldier, Leader and Friend.
Rest well James Chinelo. Well done thy good and faithful Soldier.”
Col. James Porter currently serves as the Chief of Staff, 311TH Expeditionary Sustainment Command for the United States Army Reserves out of Los Angeles, California.
We thank you James for your service, for sharing your story and for the reminder that as we celebrate this Memorial Day, we must remember the bravery and honor of all servicemen and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Specifically, the many fallen soldiers who are gone but they are certainly not forgotten.