TODAY is Military Spouse Appreciation Day

By Tara Crooks for Military.com: May is an awesome month for military families. It’s a time when the country pays tribute to our community for Military Appreciation Month — and specifically to military spouses on Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Back in 1984, President Reagan proclaimed the Friday before Mother’s Day of each year to be Military Spouse Appreciation Day. (This year it falls on May 8).

Have you ever heard that old expression “if the military wanted you to have a spouse they would have issued you one”? Aren’t you glad that’s not the way it is now? So am I!

You may not realize it but you’re an important part of your Soldier’s career. You’re an integral part of this military life. What you do makes a difference.

Think about all of the things you do to support your military community: running Family Readiness Groups, planning hail and farewells, hosting the coffee group, organizing fundraisers, teaching Army Family Team Building, paying the bills, running the household, and raising your children. You’re the glue that holds it all together.

Military spouses are amazing creatures, truly a breed of our own. We’re resourceful, multi-talented, and ambitious. We stick together, support each other, and we love even in absence. We are strong. We overcome. We are [or at least we like to think] invincible.

Think about your journey through military life thus far. Whether you’re at the beginning or heavily “seasoned,” you quickly realize that you have become or are becoming a part of something bigger than yourself. You live a life full of tradition, a life full of pride. You live a truly glorious life [notice I did not say glamorous] that most civilians will never understand or ever be strong enough to experience. A life full of loving madly and missing badly, a life full of adventure and change, a life that sometimes makes you wonder how you ever do it.

Can you imagine a military without spouses? I can’t. What we do is so very important to the life that we lead and the community that supports it. Our contributions are what make this big operation “tick.” We may not have sharp shooting skills or defuse bombs but we do save lives.

Recently, I had a discussion with a Vietnam Vet. Through his tears, he told me “you’re [the spouses] the heroes.” What he said brought me to tears. I couldn’t help but think what life was like for him and his family while he was away at war. My, how times have changed, we now have many resources available to us. We have Internet and e-mail. We have DoD-funded resources such as Military One Source, and the Military Spouse Career Network. But most importantly, we now have the support of the American people.

So here’s to you military spouses! Reach your arms out and then wrap them around yourself for a huge hug! For everything you do — Thank You!

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