Guest Post by Steven Robinson
Military Spouse Appreciation Day makes me reflect on my life in the military world. Before I was a military spouse, I was a military brat. I was born into this military lifestyle at Eglin AFB located in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. My dad served 26 years in the Air Force and I got to see and do a lot of cool things, like running the halls of the Pentagon as a little kid on the weekends while my dad worked. You for sure can’t do that anymore. I remember seeing the yellow paint on the stairs, looking out the window and seeing the garden in the middle of the building. Seeing and doing also came with a price. We moved a lot and I went to six different schools between kindergarten to 8th grade. This meant I had to be the new kid wherever I went. Thankfully, I had the personality to pull it off. I was never shy when it came to meeting new friends. Growing up a military brat made me tough and resilient when it came to TDY’s, deployments, moving, finding friends, my dad working late and not being able to make all my sporting events. My mom was always there to support, lift up, check my homework, smile when I had a hard day or get after me when I was out of line. My mom is what a lot people say is the unsung hero in the military.
Fast forward to now and I am the spouse in the military world. My wife has served almost 19 years and we have three amazing children. We have lived now through deployments, TDY’s, and living overseas in Okinawa, Japan for five years. Marriage in the military isn't always easy, and when you throw in the stress of a military career, things get a lot more difficult. The toughest time I feel as a married couple in the military is right now as we are in a pandemic and she is in an extremely demanding role. Our life consists of long hours and inconsistent shift schedules. There is the art of managing kids in three different schools with the daily demands of cooking, cleaning, homework, and youth sports schedules. It leaves us feeling like roommates at times. One thing my wife and I have decided is that no matter how the day takes shape, we always end the day being thankful for what we do have and sometimes don’t have.
As we celebrate military spouses this month, I reflect back on my mom and both my grandmothers who were all military spouses who raised a family, and all had careers. My mom worked full time as a nurse and still kept everything going when my dad was nowhere to be found because of work. She truly was the definition of how a military spouse keeps the home a home and never skips a beat. She is my role model. I am thankful for my life and thankful for how my mother raised me to be. I represent a growing number of male spouses in our military community. As military spouses, when we experience days when things get tough, we don’t quit. We make friends surprisingly easy and learn to lean on each other. All the experiences of being a military spouse has helped me mentor and be an advocate for other military spouses in my career. I’ve found a way to follow in the steps of my mother and grandmothers and build a career while living the unpredictable military lifestyle.
I am thankful for the love and sacrifice my wife has put towards this country. I am also thankful she acknowledges that she couldn’t do this life and lifestyle without me.
As military spouses we shine and overcome adversity every day. Never underestimate your strength and contributions towards the mission. Remember this: Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth. Let all that you do be done in Love.
Have a shout out you’d like to share with your fellow military spouses? Has someone inspired you? Share your experience in the comments.
About Guest Blogger Steven Robinson:
As a military spouse for 18 years, Steven has PCS’d several times. His latest was from Okinawa, Japan to San Antonio, Texas. Prior to living in Okinawa, Steven spent 14 years in Radio Broadcasting. Both as a Promotions Manager for seven different radio station in Colorado Springs, Colorado and an on-air talent for seven years in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. While in Okinawa, Steven worked for a financial services company. Steven then joined USAA in 2016 where outside of his primary responsibilities, he leads USAA’s VETNet Spouse.
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