Wearing military medals is normally thought to be reserved for occasions such as weddings, funerals, and parades. In general, wearing them wasn’t a celebration of service, but part of a suit or a uniform to wear to an event. At Medals of America, we want you to feel comfortable and take pride in wearing military medals outside of the formal events listed above. There shouldn’t be any embarrassment or feeling uncomfortable displaying the medals you have earned.
In 2007 the Veterans Affairs Secretary released a press release, titled Veterans Pride Initiative, calling on veterans to begin wearing military medals on patriotic holidays and days of remembrance, such as the 4th of July, Veterans and Memorial Day. It was a call to action for veterans to express their pride, remember their service, and to value their medals as accomplishments, memories, and sacrifices.
The Original Press Release:
The Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a call to all veterans to express their patriotism and pride when observing Veterans Day and other major patriotic holidays by wearing military medals earned in their time of service.
To show their pride in military service, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson urged veterans to wear their military medals on civilian clothes on national patriotic holidays.
The Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs called it a great way to show our communities the spirit of American veterans and to remind neighbors of the service and sacrifice of those who guard democracy.
As we all joined to salute America’s veterans and Armed Forces on Veterans Day, Memorial Day and the 4th of July, veterans are urged to wear their medals and show their pride while participating in public observations or just being with friends and family. Individuals’ veteran medals tell a story of service in the cause of freedom that all Americans need to hear.
Veterans Pride Initiative in 2018
A few years and VA Secretaries later, this call to action still rings true. We believe it is important for veterans to wear their military medals. Medals are a symbol of honor and integrity that should be displayed and worn with pride, they are earned and symbolize merit and courage. Your service with the military shouldn’t go unrecognized, it was a life-changing decision that makes a difference in the lives of many and should be celebrated.
There should be no trepidation to wear your medals with pride; your medals tell your story, the story of veterans everywhere, that fight and defend freedom and the American Dream. It’s a great opportunity to share your stories with the people around you.
It is a great opportunity to update your medals, double-checking your DD-214 to make sure you have all of the military medals you were awarded, and updating your uniform. You can also get a set of miniature medals to wear on more casual clothes if your holiday plans include hanging out with the family in the backyard all day.
Holidays to Celebrate
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for our fallen brothers and sisters that didn’t return as they fought for our freedom. Wearing your medals is a form of remembrance of fallen comrades, P.O.W.s, and battle buddies. Your medals not only represent what you have done in your service, but what everyone you served with did as well.
Independence Day celebrates the birth of a nation, true freedom, and victory — everything military medals represent! Wear ’em loud and wear ‘em proud this Fourth of July as the country celebrates with you.
Veterans Day is dedicated to our nation’s brave veterans, wear your medals to display your service, to show your pride in our country, and pay homage to the men and women you served with. Wear your ribbons, full size, or mini medals on your civilian clothes or uniform for a parade, or on your polo as you wear your service in a more casual way.
Armed Forces Day was created in 1949 after the Secretary of Defense combined separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force days. We celebrate it May 19th, and veterans, active duty, and retired persons should as well—paying respects to each branch and the courageous men and women who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice.
Branch birthdays are not celebrated as national holidays, but they are still important to everyone who has served. Medals of America pays homage to each branch’s birthday every year and we encourage all members of the military to honor their own accomplishments, achievements, and sacrifices as well as the service of others.
Steps to Update Your Military Medals and Ribbons
Participating in this Veterans Initiative is wonderful and impactful on its own but making sure your medals, ribbons, and awards are up to date is important as well. Medals of America is renowned for its medals and ribbon racks and wants to help you display your career properly and professionally.
There are a few steps you can take to update your racks, and we are here to help. Our Military Award Specialists (MAS) are our veterans that work with you to put together your racks and shadow boxes. They are experts in their craft and will help you create or recreate your medals.
First, review your DD214 and compare it to your medals and ribbons. Are you missing a medal, need to add new devices, or notice the drapes on your medals is looking worn down? Give us a call and one of our MAS will help you every step of the way.
If you do need devices updated or a medal to be re-draped, you have the option to mail us your medal rack for us to re-drape or update devices.
Another option is to re-order your medals anodized rather than the standard finish. Anodized medals hold the same sentiment and honor as standard medals but have a gleam and glint to them that many veterans find appealing for wearing on suits and jackets. Ordering a set of mini-medals to accompany your full-size set is another way to make sure you always have a set of medals to wear to your next event or during the next holiday season.
Our medal rack builder is new and improved and is now easier than ever to add attachments and build multi-service medals. If you have any further questions about how to wear your military medals, please feel free to give us a call and speak to our Military Awards Specialists, they are veterans that are ready to help you with anything.