Military Spouse Appreciation Day originated in the United States during the 1980s. Since then, every US President has celebrated the day each year and has encouraged the world’s population to do just the same. This is a day we recognize not just the risk military service members expose themselves to every day of the year, but to honor and acknowledge the supportive families who make their many struggles bearable.
While military spouses do not take an oath of service, they serve and sacrifice in many ways. Having a day to acknowledge and honor the role of the military spouse in our homes, communities, military and our country is well deserved and much appreciated.
Being a military spouse can be an exhausting role in a number of ways. While there are long spurts where stability is attainable and a sense of home is established, there are plenty of times where that stability and sense of home are thrown out of the window. While the service member we love fully tackles the transition of their job and career path, it is the military spouse who makes the transition as smooth as possible for the entire family. The spouse often is solely responsible for dismantling what was once a home and re-establishing a new home.
Aside from setting up a new home, the military spouse often finds themselves constantly having to re-establish their role outside of the family. The constant moves, deployments and trainings mean making strides in a career field of our own can be like taking a step forward then taking two steps back. Regardless of where you have worked or how much you truly love your dream job or career, you have to pick up, resign, transfer or simply walk away whenever that new report date comes rolling in. It can be difficult financially, professionally and emotionally. Many do it with grace, enthusiasm and a smile again and again.
Even when you are somewhere settled and feeling “at home”, separations can mean the military spouse goes from being a partner in parenting to single parent in a snap. This transition is one a military spouse does with ease and fluidity. From school projects, appointments, field trips, temper tantrums, family emergencies, oil changes, shoveling the snow and everything possibly in between, it gets done. There is no choice or no alternative, it just all gets done.
We live and succeed in this ever-changing atmosphere because we truly believe in the purpose, honor and sacrifice of our service member.
While we take the honor of Spouse Appreciation Day to heart and should celebrate it and soak it in, we stop not to honor ourselves, but to honor the ones that help us along the way, every day, in more ways than we can ever express to each other.
By: Angela Caban