As you have probably noticed, if you follow our blogs, I love to find obscure “National Day of …” celebrations to share with you. There are so many to choose from, and this particular one helped educate me on what the term G.I. actually means. I have heard the references many times throughout my life, but had only a vague idea regarding the meaning of it. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!
March 4th is referred to as National Hug a G.I. Day. It is the only day on the calendar that is mnemonically a military command, March 4th. It is a day to simply show your support to servicemen and women. It could be a pat on the back, a handshake, or a full blown hug of appreciation!
Originally the term G.I. was a notation used in military supply records for galvanized iron, and was later used during World War I for German artillery shells made of that same material. At some point during the war soldiers began interpreting the initials as “Government Issue”. By World War II soldiers used it sarcastically as a reference for themselves due to the feeling that they were enlisted men being mass-produced for Uncle Sam. It was around this time that G.I. Joe was created by comic strip artist and former Army Sergeant David Breger. His first G.I. Joe cartoon was published in Yank magazine on June 17, 1942. (And don’t forget the Hasbro G.I. Joe action figure trademarked in 1964). As time went on, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a bill in 1944 that became known as the G.I. Bill; Servicemen’s Readjustment Act.
OFFICIAL DAY CREATED
In 1996, Adrienne Sioux Koopersmith created Hug a G.I. Day. She selected the only day on the calendar that was also a military command. Her purpose was to set a day to salute and celebrate all of the men and women who risk their lives for our country and the freedoms we have.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Make sure you show your appreciation to both past and present G.I.’s. Though G.I.’s historically referred to Army personnel, this day encompasses all that have or are serving in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. Hug them all, no matter what branch they are in! Why not take it a step further. Buy their coffee at the local convenience store, pick up their lunch tab, or go ahead and pay for their groceries in the checkout line? Be creative in how you show your sincere appreciation! Is your G.I. too far away to hug? Send a virtual hug via text, email, phone, or send a card in the mail. Don’t forget to use #HugAGIDay to post on social media, and then share your experiences in the comments below!
Hi, I’m Lisa. As a Web Merchandiser for Mardel, I write on Education, Jewelry, and Apparel for our web site. I write from the heart of being a wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and Women’s Ministry Coordinator at my church. More than anything else, I love the Lord.