National Military Appreciation Month is a time to recognize military accomplishments and sacrifices. Navy Federal has been serving members of the military and their families for over 80 years. Many of our own employees have served as well. This year, we thought, why not add a little excitement to this already remarkable time of year? So this May, we celebrated Military Appreciation Month with a special social media challenge.

Participants were asked to create a one-minute video showcasing military appreciation by thanking an Active Duty servicemember, veteran or sharing their own personal military experience. Videos were then uploaded to Instagram with the official challenge hashtag – #ProudToServeChallenge – for a chance to win up to $5,000!

The video submissions are touching and creative retellings of personal military experiences or those of a servicemember close to them. Content ranges from lighthearted humor to the struggle of having a loved one overseas.

Check out the five winning entries here:

1. Edward Digges

The winning video, submitted by Edward Digges, allows viewers to get a sense of the gratefulness a son has for his father in the military. Digges shares the important lessons he’s learned from his father over the years, from small tasks like pitching a tent to larger life lessons like accepting responsibility and leading courageously.

A post shared by Edward (@edward_d_) on


  2. Marquis Wood

This thrilling rap sequence honors Marquis Wood’s mother, father and grandfather – all of whom served in the U.S. Navy – and earned him second place in our #ProudToServe Challenge. In the catchy tune, Wood thanks his loved ones for protecting our freedom as a familiar reveille plays in the background.

A post shared by Marquis Wood (@monkquis) on

3. Jorelle Yuvienco

Through his clips of landscapes and everyday life, Jorelle Yuvienco reminds us that the moments and memories we share at home with our loved ones would not be possible without our servicemembers.

4. Kelly Hemphill

Kelly Hemphill takes fourth place with her submission – she gets creative using a scrapbook theme and a little bit of stop-motion. The video ends with a hand-drawn American flag, reminding us all of the beauty of the red, white and blue.

 5. Raphael Rigaud

Our final winner, Raphael Rigaud, designed an inspirational running video. He shares why he’s proud to wear a military uniform and serve “so others don’t have to.”

A post shared by Raphael Rigaud (@rigaud5) on

Here at Navy Federal, we’re proud to serve those who serve. Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s #ProudToServeChallenge to honor and thank our servicemembers, veterans and their families!