In February of 2006 a newspaper in Wilmington, NC published a story about restaurants that were refusing entry to a group of Marines who had just returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Rodney Carroll, Dan Smith and John Polosky were outraged and decided to do something about it!
Within a few weeks they raised almost $1000 and with the help of a donated van and a few marines they set forth on a mission to change this policy and pay tribute to those who have served America.
As they visited these restaurants and spent time with these young marines they were overwhelmed with the desire to show appreciation for our true American Heroes and thus the idea for Military Appreciation Day was born!
Within two short months, all of the planning for the event was completed and on May 20, 2006 men and women from all five branches of the Armed Services arrived for the First Annual Military Appreciation Day or MAD1.
The 225 service men and women who ventured out in volunteer and chartered vessels were greeted by pouring rain and howling winds, but the spirit of the day was not diminished as volunteers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania were on hand for one reason … One, Simple, THANKS!
The forum post that started it all : Original MAD Post at NCWaterman.com (PDF format, stored locally)