North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has declared May to be Military Appreciation Month. With over 100,000 active-duty military personnel and their families and approximately 725,000 military veterans, North Carolina has the fifth-largest military presence in the country. According to North Carolina Department of Military & Veterans Affairs Secretary Walter E. Gaskin, state officials designated this month in part to further “remember the ultimate sacrifice” of many North Carolinians and “express our gratitude to service members and their families.” The overall economic impact of North Carolina's service members, veterans and families exceeds $66 billion annually. Since 2015, NC DMVA has served as the central coordinating agency advocating for current and former military personnel and their families and connecting them to services, benefits, and support. Since 2015, North Carolina has been recognized as the most veteran-friendly state in the nation."