Date: May 20, 2017
Branches: Downtown Summerville YMCA, Oakbrook YMCA, The Ponds YMCA
You served us. Now let us serve you! Be our guest on Saturday, May 20 on Armed Forces Day. Our facility will be open to all military and veterans.
You may not be aware, but the YMCA has a strong history of supporting our military. The beginning of YMCA service in the military setting usually is associated with the year 1861, when 5,000 dedicated YMCA volunteers took to the battlefields of the Civil War alongside America’s uniformed young men. It was the year that Abraham Lincoln commended YMCA for the “benevolent undertaking for the benefit of the soldiers.” The tradition of “following the flag” has continued in every war and conflict in which the United States has been involved.
- Spanish American War – 500 YMCA volunteers were stationed in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. YMCA’s service was so highly regarded the US government established a permanent Army and Navy Committee to give national direction to the work of the YMCA.
- World War I – the YMCA served 90% of American military forces in Europe.
- World War II – President Franklin Roosevelt asked the YMCA to take the lead in mobilizing military support. The YMCA and other nonprofits came together to form the United Services Organization (USO).
- Department of Defense – after a long history of working side-by-side, the DOD made the YMCA Armed Services branch a part of the DOD. The Armed Services YMCA operates programs today for young troops and families at 33 branches and affiliates nationwide.
Read more about the SFYMCA Patton Family Fund that supports military families in Summerville, SC.