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Honoring Those Who Serve: The History and Significance of RED Friday

Honoring Those Who Serve: The History and Significance of RED Friday

If you’ve served in the U.S. Military, or are close to someone who has, you understand the sacrifice and bravery it takes to deploy overseas.

Our troops have selflessly fought for our nation’s freedoms, often at their own expense. It’s important that those of us left behind show our support, and RED Friday is a great opportunity for the everyday person to do that in a meaningful way.

R.E.D. Friday – which stands for “remember everyone deployed” – is a movement designed to honor veterans and deployed U.S. troops by wearing a red shirt every Friday.

Simple as it is, RED Friday is a great way to back those who serve our country. It is a tradition that has been observed by individuals, communities, and organizations nationwide since the early 2000s, and still provides an opportunity for people to demonstrate their appreciation and respect for the military today.

In this article, we will explore the history and significance of RED Friday, and how you can join the movement and spread awareness.

What is RED Friday?

RED Friday is the name of a movement organized to show support for U.S. troops deployed overseas. It stands for “remember everyone deployed,” and is observed by the friends and families of military members, as well as by those in the general public.

On RED Fridays, people wear something red – usually a remember everyone deployed shirt – to show their support for and honor those who have served or are currently serving in the military.

The tradition is based on the idea that the color red symbolizes courage, bravery, and the sacrifices made by soldiers. It started as a way for military families and friends to back their loved ones, and it has since gained popularity among the public at large.

The idea is that by wearing red on Fridays, people will be reminded of the sacrifices made by those in the military – especially those deployed overseas – and will be encouraged to show their respect and appreciation.

In addition to wearing red, many communities also organize events and activities on RED Fridays to show their support for the troops, including parades, rallies, and other public events, as well as private events and gatherings organized by families and friends of military personnel.

Overall, RED Fridays is a symbol of the deep appreciation and respect that many people have for the military, and it serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who serve their country.

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How did RED Friday Get Started?

RED Friday was first observed in the early 2000s as a way for people to show their support for the military following the September 11th attacks, shortly after military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq began.

While no one knows for sure how it got started, there are a few key instances that most people credit with launching the movement.

The first origin story is that word about RED Friday spread the way many things did in those days – via an email chain. A portion of the email, sent out in 2005, reads:

“The Americans who support our troops are the silent majority. We are not "organized" to reflect who we are, or to reflect what our opinions are. … Our idea of showing our solidarity and support for our troops is starting Friday, and continuing on each and every Friday, until this is over, that every RED-blooded American who supports our young men and women, WEAR SOMETHING RED.

“If every one of our memberships shares this with other acquaintances, fellow workers, friends, and neighbors, I guarantee that it will not be long before the USA will be covered in RED - and make our troops know there are many people thinking of their well-being. You will feel better all day Friday when you wear RED!”

While this email chain was certainly sent around back in 2005, it’s hard to say if it was actually successful enough to be credited with launching the movement.

The other, more tangible, origin story is that RED Friday was started by two Canadian military wives, Lisa Miller and Karen Boier, who created a website in 2006 that encouraged citizens to wear red to show support for the nation’s troops, according to While the two women did credit the movement as an “American initiative,” it’s unknown whether they were referring to the aforementioned email chain.

Regardless of its inspiration, the Canadian RED Friday was a success, leading to national support and a rally led by Canada’s then-Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

After that, Red Shirt Fridays were reintroduced to the United States by a veteran named Lloyd (Doc) Hofmeister, who started the website (which has since been taken down) with the mission of making sure soldiers feel proud of their work and know that people back home support them by remembering everyone deployed.

“I know what it is like to be half a world away from your life, to feel that no one cares, and to come home to be humiliated and ashamed of your service,” Hofmeister wrote on his site. “I have seen firsthand how troop morale is as important as basic training. If morale is low, mistakes are made and people die. Our job is to support our troops and in the process we can help to increase their morale by showing we care. Let’s face it, your show of appreciation could very well save someone’s son or daughter’s life.”

From there, RED Fridays became popular in the U.S. as a way for individuals, families, and communities to demonstrate their support for the troops and honor the sacrifices made by military personnel and their families.

Today, RED Friday continues to be observed by many people and organizations as a way to show their respect for the military and to pay homage to the sacrifices made by those who serve their country. The tradition is a symbol of the deep appreciation and respect that many people have for the military, and it serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who serve their country.

Vedder Holsters Remember Everyone Deployed Shirt

How to Observe RED Friday

Observing RED Friday is an easy and meaningful way to show support for our troops. Here are some ways to participate in RED Fridays:

Wear Red: The most common way to observe RED Fridays is to wear something red, such as RED Friday shirts, a red hat, a red scarf, etc. The idea is to wear red every Friday to show your support for the military. If you’re looking for a shirt to wear on RED Fridays, check out the Vedder Holsters R.E.D. Remember Everyone Deployed T-Shirt.

Display Red Symbols: In addition to wearing red, you can also display red symbols of support, such as a red ribbon, red flag, or red wristband. You can place these symbols any and everywhere you’d like, such as at your home, in your car, or at the office.

Share on Social Media: Another way to observe RED Fridays is to share messages of support and appreciation for the military on social media using the hashtag #RedFridays. This helps to spread the message of support and raises awareness of the movement.

In addition to participating in RED Friday, here are a few other ways you can show support for our troops:

Support Military Families: You can also show your support for service members by supporting the people they care about most – their families. This can include volunteering with organizations that aid military families, making donations to military families, and simply being there for the families of military personnel in your community to offer support and encouragement.

Send Care Packages: Sending care packages filled with personal items, snacks, and other necessities can provide a much-needed boost to those who are deployed and away from home. Check out for a list of organizations you can go through to send care packages.

Donate to Military Charities: Donating to a military charity that assists deployed troops and their families can be an impactful way to show your support for those who serve. We recommend vetting charitable organizations through a source like Charity Watch before making a donation.

Volunteer with Military Organizations: Volunteering with organizations that back military families and deployed troops can help provide practical assistance and show your support for those who serve.

Participate in Events: Participating in events, such as charity runs or walks, that raise funds and awareness for the military can be another great way to show your support for those who serve.


RED Friday is a tradition observed by people across the nation to show support for the military and pay homage to the sacrifices made by those who serve overseas. You can participate in RED Friday by wearing red clothing or accessories and displaying red symbols of support every Friday.

If you’re interested in participating in RED Friday and would like a themed shirt to show your support, check out our R.E.D. Remember Everyone Deployed T-Shirt.

If you’re looking for a new IWB, OWB, or pocket carry holster, visit our Holsters by Gun Model page for Kydex holsters that are custom-made for your weapon of choice.

Interested in items beyond holsters? Check out our Resources Page for links to recommended products like lights, lasers, first aid, maintenance, and more, and browse our selection of belts, apparel, and accessories at our website,

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Mikayla Blair

After launching her career as an award-winning journalist in the American Southwest, Mikayla Blair joined the Vedder Holsters team as a content writer in 2021. She writes about all things guns, holsters, and concealed carry, and is especially passionate about women's self-defense.

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