Apparently today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. To be quite honest, I can’t keep a lot of these appreciation days straight or even be bothered to remember them. If it weren’t for my Facebook newsfeed, I would have happily went about my Friday none the wiser. To my surprise, the day was created with Proclamation 5184 on April 17, 1984 during the Ronald Reagan administration. I originally thought the day was created sometime during the current wars due to the push for a more ‘family friendly military’ (<— whatever that looks like).
In my experience as a military spouse, the one constant thread seems to involve me putting on my big girl panties and dealing with whatever curveball is thrown my way. I really don’t mind. It keeps life interesting and as I have said until I am blue in the face – the positives outweigh the negatives for our little family – otherwise, we wouldn’t be choosing to live this life. That being said, there are days that involve me sobbing in the shower due to the lack of control or because I miss my husband and worry about him so damn much. But thankfully, those days are few and far between. And nothing a good bottle of wine can’t fix.
Being a Military Spouse…
This picture was taken earlier this year during Clay’s promotion ceremony. I think it perfectly captures what being a military spouse can feel like 93% of the time. More often than not, we’re on the sidelines watching our spouse (in this case, he was giving a short speech) with a smile on our face and a child in our arms. It is important to note that the smile isn’t always sincere (ha!) but in this picture mine happens to be 100% real. I also happened to be 14 weeks pregnant in this picture (oh my gosh – I really am a walking military wife cliche, aren’t I?) so smiling wide was keeping my horrorific nausea at bay. Aren’t you happy for that little nugget of information?
I do not think that a being military spouse is the toughest job in the military (not by a long shot), but I do recognize the hardships that accompany the lifestyle. It feels a bit silly to write accolades about a group of which I am a card carrying member but let’s throw modesty to the wind for a second (don’t worry, I am not taking my top off…) and talk about how awesome military spouses can be. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some absolutely amazing women (and men!) who have handled their role with grace, honor, and a kick-ass attitude (I’ve also met some horrid spouses but we’re just going to ignore them for now, mmmkay?). Being a military spouse certainly doesn’t define me, but I like to think that it enhances my perspective and provides me with a plethora of learning opportunities I otherwise wouldn’t be afforded.
Below are just a handful of words that I think help capture the essence of being a military spouse…
They’re never easy.
There is no other feeling in the world like seeing your military member march/walk into view upon returning from a deployment to a war zone. No other feeling.
They keep us sane (read more about the special bond).
The opportunity to live places you otherwise wouldn’t/couldn’t choose.
Being part of an organization rich with history.
In closing, I have been a military spouse for almost 9 years and can’t imagine life any other way. It isn’t always easy. But it is worth it. Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day to my friends and fellow spouses. Have an extra glass of wine (or two) for me…cheers!