For generations, service members have fought and served for the advancement of America's principles and freedoms. Serving in the military is an exceptional sacrifice, one that affects soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as their families and loved ones. It truly does take a village to ensure things run smoothly while service members are deployed.

Each November during Military Family Month, we honor the wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, children and loved ones for the support they provide through the most difficult of times.

Throughout deployments, various moves across the nations (and sometimes the world), you've stood by and supported those in uniform. Rest assured, your unwavering love and devotion is appreciated.

We Serve Where You Serve

Understanding military life gives us a deep appreciation for those who serve. Organizations that are closely associated to the military know this well. For instance, Navy Federal Credit Unionhas served the armed forces and military families for more than 80 years. The company’s culture is to be a financial partner to help those military families reach their goals, regardless of where they’re located. Many military spouses and family members work with organizations like Navy Federal because of their dedication to service, which is closely tied to the military.

How You Can Say Thank You

The little things can mean the most. So take a moment to say thank you to your loved ones this month. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas:

1. Just say, "Thank you!"

"[My husband deployed] when our son was only 3 months old and returned in time to see his first steps. His dedication and sacrifice for our country means the world to me, even if our family missed him for so long out of the year, twice." – Makenzie, Navy Federal Credit Union member

A little recognition goes a long way. Writing a letter or note is a meaningful way of letting your loved ones know what they mean to you.

2. Volunteer and Give Back

Offer to babysit, run errands or volunteer time with an organization that supports military families. An afternoon off for a mom running the household while her husband is deployed will be a big hit. Or, if you’re able to give back monetarily, give to an organization that supports military families. Non-profits around the country assist military families in education, medical care and VA guidance, etc. Here’s a list of organizations that support military families.3. Spend Some Quality Time Together

This can take on many shapes and forms. November is a great time to share a meal at a restaurant, take a walk around the neighborhood or even to take a weekend trip out of town. Throughout the month, and likely the year, special discounts are offered at restaurants, stores, hotels and attractions for service members. You’ll likely need to show proof of military service to get access to this discounts. And when November ends, don’t be afraid to ask local establishments if they offer year-round discounts for service members.

To everyone who is a part of a military family, we salute you and invite you to share your story. Thank you for your service.

Navy Federal is federally insured by NCUA.