In the past, I have ignored Military Spouse Appreciation day. It was my opinion that my active duty spouse has the hard job and there should be more days appreciating his sacrifices and effort. While I certainly still believe that to be true, I now have a less self-centered outlook on the day. I now have the pleasure and privilege of meeting and being supported by some remarkable military spouses. It is now clear that Military Spouse Appreciation Day is about so much more than me as a military spouse; it is a day to honor and celebrate the wonderful military spouses I have been blessed to know.
I found out I was pregnant the day before my husband left for a 6-month deployment (turned into 9). I could go on for hours about how much the other spouses helped me during that time. I had friends accompanying me to my appointments, baby showers, give lots of advice and a shoulder to cry on when the deployment was extended.
When I asked military spouses on Facebook to share their appreciation for a fellow spouse, I was overwhelmed by the loving stories of true friendship:
Vanessa M., San Diego: "Ally has supported me in the best way possible since the first day I moved in with Eric in Pensacola. There was an instance when my mom was extremely ill in Cleveland. My family and I were considering a nursing home as we waited for an organ transplant for her, and I couldn't have felt more alone. Ally happened to live behind me in base housing and one night (morning actually, as it was literally 3 or 4am), she texted me asking if I was ok because she could see my light on. She knew me enough to know that I wouldn't have answered if she just asked, "are you ok", so she asked, "how's the puzzle coming". This subtle check-in made me feel like I wasn't alone, even though my husband was gone, and my family was across the country deciding the fate of my mom. A few months later, my mom received a lifesaving organ transplant, both Ally and I moved to San Diego together, and our friendship continues to be like family. There are certain moments with so many military spouses that I am incredibly thankful for, they are my family, even when my blood family is far away. Sometimes I forget which is which, and Ally is a big part of learning how valuable my military spouse world could be, even from a distance."
Katie E., Virginia Beach: "Lyndsey W. was my hero during Brian's first deployment! I got endless emails, phone calls and support throughout the entire time they were gone. All of this was done without having met me! She was amazing and I'll never forget it!"
Katie C., Lemoore, CA: "Amanda S. picked me up from the airport (an hour trip), housed me and took me to surprise Mitch for his homecoming, and even took pictures!"
Take this time -- I know I will -- to personally thank the military spouses that have a positive impact on your life and well-being. We truly are stronger together. Thank you to all military spouses; to the "at-home warriors" who have been a truly great friend, who have held a hand, helped another when they were in need, and been a shoulder to cry on. This day is for you!
Do you have a special military spouse that you would like to recognize? Share in the comments.
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