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The Salvation Army Observes Memorial Day

The Salvation Army has always been a strong supporter of the military and has a history of helping war efforts and serving on the front lines.

In November 1894, The Salvation Army’s Naval and Military League was started as a way to communicate with Salvationist sailors and soldiers. However, the League soon broadened its service and established Naval and Military homes in places such as Portsmouth, Malta and Calcutta.

In World War I, The Salvation Army supplied motor ambulances, refreshment huts in military camps and parcels of food and clothing for servicemen. These refreshment huts were where the Salvationists known as ‘Donut Girls’ served food, primarily donuts, to the servicemen. To honor the volunteers who prepared and served donuts as a way to remind soldiers of home, the United States celebrates the 79th Annual National Donut Day on June 3.

Some Officers served as chaplains, and the League operated an inquiry service to help relatives and friends find servicemen. After the war, the League assisted with visits to war cemeteries.

During World War II, The Salvation Army operated mobile canteens that provided tea, chewing gum, soap, toothpaste and sewing kits to servicemen. These canteens arrived only a matter of days after the ‘D-Day’ landing and followed the advance of the Allied troops into Germany. The Salvation Army also provided international hostels and clubs for military personnel and is still present on a number of military bases today.

We continue to support and thank all the men and women in the military for the sacrifices they make for our country.

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