October 26th

National Day of the Deployed -

Updated on by

Each year on October 26th, the National Day of the Deployed is celebrated, paying tribute to the heroic men and women who have served our nation through deployment. It’s a momentous day that emphasizes our ongoing responsibility to express our gratitude for their sacrifices. This day is intended to acknowledge their bravery and unyielding dedication to our safety and freedom.

This day is our way of saying ‘Thank You’ and commemorating the invaluable service these soldiers provide for our nation.

History of National Day of the Deployed

Shelle Michaels Aberle initially proposed the idea, as her cousin was serving deployment in Iraq at that time. To generate awareness and build support for her cause, Shelle reached out to John Hoeven, who was then Governor of North Dakota. Governor Hoeven, recognizing the immense importance of such an acknowledgment, became the foremost governor in the U.S. to officially proclaim a day dedicated to recognizing the commitment of deployed service men and women.

Grand Forks, North Dakota, was the first location to observe National Day of the Deployed on October 26, 2006 - a date selected to coincide with the birthday of Shelle Aberle’s cousin, LTC David Hosna, a serviceman deployed to Iraq.

Fast forward to 2011, Governor John Hoeven, elevated to U.S. Senator, campaigned in the Senate for National Day of the Deployed’s nationwide recognition. Assisted by Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia, he co-sponsored the S.RES.295 resolution. The Senate unanimously passed the resolution, making October 26th the official Day of the Deployed.

Since the year 2012, governors from all fifty states have formally acknowledged National Day of the Deployed with formal proclamations annually. This significant day not only honors the courage and commitment of all deployed members of the armed forces separated from their homeland and families but frankly acknowledges the sacrifices of their family members and loved ones. It is a heartfelt tribute to their fortitude while their family members defend our nation’s safety and honor.

National Day of the Deployed Timeline

Creation of the National Day of the Deployed

The first National Day of the Deployed was observed in North Dakota, initiated by Shelle Michale Aberle, honoring her cousin Lt. Colonel David Hosna.

Nationwide Recognition

This marks the year when the National Day of the Deployed was officially recognized across the entire United States. All fifty states acknowledged it.

Senatorial Recognition

U.S. Senate unanimously passes the resolution to officially recognize October 26 as National Day of the Deployed in honor and support of deployed service members.

10th Anniversary

The 10th anniversary of the National Day of the Deployed was observed. Many support and awareness events were held by communities and organizations across the country.

Continuing Recognition

National Day of the Deployed continues to be recognized and observed, offering support and gratitude to those deployed and their families.

Ideas to Celebrate National Day of the Deployed

1 faq icon

Care Packages Galore

Organize a care package making event. These packages can contain non-perishable food items, toiletries, and even little mementos to remind the deployed personnel of home. This care package event can include community groups, schools, and local businesses.

2 faq icon

Charity Run

Set up a charity run with participation fees going towards resources for military families or towards care packages for the deployed. The run can serve both as a physical show of gratitude and a fundraiser.

3 faq icon

Public Art Project

Invite schools, art clubs, and community groups to take part in a public art project- be it a mural, sculpture, or themed art show, all dedicated to the deployed. The finished art can stand as a constant reminder of the sacrifices made by our troops.

4 faq icon

Letter Writing Campaign

Encourage people to pen heartfelt letters to the deployed soldiers that can be included in care packages or sent separately. Letters can be an encouraging and warm piece of home for those deployed.

5 faq icon

Family Outreach

Coordinate with local military groups to facilitate support for families of the deployed. It could be a one-day fun event for children of deployed soldiers or special care packages for the families.

6 faq icon

Flag Raising Ceremony

Organize a flag raising ceremony in honor of deployed means a lot. This way people can pay their respects to deployed military every year. Be sure to follow proper flag etiquette.

7 Interesting Facts About National Day of the Deployed


First Proclaimed by a North Dakota Governor

Governor John Hoeven of North Dakota first proclaimed National Day of the Deployed in support of the deployed troops.


Recognition in All 50 States

By 2012, all 50 states observed National Day of the Deployed, honoring all service members who have been deployed in service of our country.


Date Significance

October 26 was chosen for National Day of the Deployed because it is the birthday of Shelle Michael's Aberle's cousin, LTC David Hosna who was deployed to Iraq.


Honoring Soldiers

This day not only honors soldiers deployed overseas, but also their families who cope with their absence.


Personalized Flags

In some celebrations, Flags are personalized with the names of their loved ones and flown in their honor on this day.


School Involvement

Many schools participate in National Day of the Deployed by having their students write letters and cards to send to deployed soldiers.


Nation Wide Moment of Silence

At 12:00 PM on National Day of the Deployed, there is often a nation-wide moment of silence to honor those who are currently deployed.

National Day of the Deployed FAQs

Next National Day of the Deployed Dates

Year Date Day
2023 October 26th Thursday
2024 October 26th Saturday
2025 October 26th Sunday
2026 October 26th Monday
2027 October 26th Tuesday
What is the pattern? Every October 26th

National Day of the Deployed Word Search

  • Soldiers
  • Deployed
  • Military
  • Service
  • Honor
  • Bravery