GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — It’s Military Spouse Appreciation Day, and while affirmations or gifts from our service members are always appreciated, it’s also a good time for us spouses to show our appreciation for one another.

 

I’ve been a military spouse for five years. That isn’t very long compared to some, and yet it feels like a lifetime. Over the last six and a half years, I have spent more time apart from my husband than with him, I’ve lost treasured items in moves, and I’ve had to say goodbye to homes and new friends that I came to love.

 

(Raise your hand if you can relate.)

 

I worry about my husband when he is gone. I worry about how our future children will deal with deployments. I worry about making new friends and finding a new job, and don’t get me started on the stress that comes with each permanent change of station.

 

I don’t know about you, but I’ll take those worries, because our life is filled with adventure and the amazing people we meet along the way.

 

We take trips across the country to visit good friends from previous duty stations. We celebrate even the tiniest of moments, like a casual Tuesday. We hoard memories and take spontaneous excursions whenever we can so as to make the most of our time together as a family. We even learn to create cooking utensils out of tin foil, paper bowls and whatever is lying around during a PCS.

 

We might all come from different backgrounds, but in this life, our experiences as military spouses – both wives and husbands – are often similar.

 

Maybe it is cliché, but I consider myself immeasurably lucky to have had amazing spouses to lean on through every aspect of our military life. I’ve met strong women, and I’ve had the opportunity to be a strong woman for others.

 

Unless you live this life or are close to someone who does, you may not realize that military spouses really do serve the nation too. Many of us volunteer through community clubs, school programs, garrison services or family readiness groups. We support our families by working or taking care of the domestic and financial needs, or doing both.

 

It doesn’t seem fair to only have one day dedicated to appreciate all the hard work that military spouses put in as the family backbone for many of our service members.

 

So for today, every previous day and every future day … let me just say thank you, from one spouse to another. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for creating a home away from home for other spouses. Thank you for reaching out to newcomers. Thank you for supporting all the service members. You might not hear it enough, but you’re doing great!


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