No, Veterans Day does not honor active-duty service members

Veterans Day is largely intended to thank and acknowledge living veterans who previously served in the United States military.

Every year on Nov. 11, the nation pauses to recognize Veterans Day. But the Department of Defense says there is a bit of confusion about whom the day honors. 

THE QUESTION

Does Veterans Day honor active-duty service members?

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, Veterans Day does not honor active-duty service members. It honors those who previously served. 

WHAT WE FOUND

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a veteran is a person who served in the active military, naval or air service, and was discharged or released under honorable conditions. 

The VA describes Veterans Day as a “day set aside to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military — in wartime or peacetime.”

“Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served have sacrificed and done their duty,” the VA writes on its website.

Unlike Veterans Day, the United Service Organizations (USO) says Armed Forces Day is considered the proper day to honor all of the men and women currently serving in the U.S. military, as well as those who have served and sacrificed to defend the nation’s freedom. In 2022, Armed Forces Day will be held on Saturday, May 21. 

More from VERIFY: Yes, Juneteenth is now a federal holiday

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

Follow Us

Want something VERIFIED?

Text: 202-410-8808

Related Stories