Raleigh, N.C. — Leaders from the state’s military bases filled the gallery of the Senate chamber Tuesday as lawmakers honored service members on Military Appreciation Day, flooding the room with applause.
The month of May marks National Military Appreciation Month, offering gratitude for troops' service as Memorial Day approaches at the end of the month.
Veteran senators shared tales of their own service and praised the contributions of fellow military service members.
Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, whose district includes Camp Lejeune, said the military plays a crucial role in the state’s economy and in his own community.
“What the military presence in this state means to the state can never be overstated,” Brown said. “It’s huge for our economy. It’s huge for our workforce.”
The military makes up the second-largest sector in the state’s economy, employing more than 540,000 people in the state, either directly or in jobs related to the military. North Carolina is home to nearly 800,000 veterans and has the third-largest military force in the nation.
Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover, emphasized the courage of the current generation of service members, who joined as volunteers in a time of war.
“You are the backbone of your country,” he said, addressing the service members and veterans in the chamber. “We could not do what we do in this chamber without you.”
The resolution honoring military personnel passed unanimously both in the Senate and the House.