Guest blog by Marti Drake, membership coordinator at Auxiliary National Headquarters
Military Appreciation Day may be just another day on the calendar to some, but as a military spouse, it makes me think about how truly special this day is.
I have been blessed to call myself a military spouse for the last 25 years. There wasn’t any training to prepare me for what life was going to be like married to someone in the military. I learned very quickly that I was known as a dependent and only known by my husband‘s Social Security number. I struggled to find jobs because no one wanted to hire someone that was only going to be there temporarily, especially when we moved every two years.
Saying goodbye to him when he would have to leave for trainings for weeks or months was hard. It was harder yet watching our boys have to say goodbye when he left for multiple deployments overseas. Even with all these difficulties, I would absolutely do it all again.
I think about the amazing women I have met along our many moves who became my “battle buddies” and whom I still call friends today. I formed unique bonds with these women like no other. When your with one another for such a short time, you get to know each other quickly. When you have to rely on one another when the guys are gone, you know who you can lean on. Your neighbor you just met is your new emergency contact for your kids at school, your new best friend.
You encourage one another, celebrate missed birthdays and anniversaries together, babysit for each other, and even help fix things around the house together. You cry together when we haven’t heard from our servicemembers in awhile, and just listen when we are truly overwhelmed. They truly are my battle buddies.
I’m so proud of my husband and all servicemembers. It takes courage and dedication that not everyone has, to do what they do. I’m also proud of all the women and men who have chosen to serve by their sides. We handle things at home, so our loved ones can focus on the mission and keep their teams safe.
In the Army, we are lovingly referred to as Home 6 to reflect that despite all the unique challenges of the military, we will try to preserve the home and the family first.
The next time you see a military family out and are feeling led to say thank you, thank the family as well, even the children. They have most likely sacrificed time with their parent so they could serve our country.
To all my fellow military spouses —thank you for all you do! You aretruly appreciated!