Military mama: Military spouses often unsung heroes

There are very few occupations that require such significant life changes for a spouse like that of the military. I have known many couples that have relocated once or maybe even twice due to educational training or employment changes. These can be tough transitions for anyone, and the more bodies involved in these changes the more complicated it gets. Children change schools, addresses and friends. This is something that may come up a time or two in a typical civilian career. For us, however, it is practically a guarantee.

We move from state to state and even country to country in support of our spouses. Sometimes we even struggle through a year without our spouses on remote tours, or months away at a time on deployments. Our lives are intertwined, in a way that despite our own goals and careers we must adapt and start anew every few years.

Every new duty station we create new friendships, we look for jobs, schools and education opportunities. We adapt to new shifts and schedules. We roll with all of the punches that can come our way. And more often than not, we do so with a smile.

There are a great many opportunities for us to complain, to whine and to get discouraged. But I’m very proud to see that the spirit of the military spouse is one of strength and positivity.

We may not wear the stripes, yet each promotion, reprimand, set of orders or morale change affect us as if it were happening to us directly. I can’t think of another position that requires such an active role for a non-employee, with the exception of the role of First Lady.

The upside is that we are in good company. The support and strength of the military spouse is evident through the many groups and events that are available. I know I didn’t fully comprehend what I was getting into when I signed on for this role in life. However, this added influence on each of our marriages can serve as a divider or a unifier if is our choice. I choose to let it strengthen our bond.

I would like to encourage each and every one of you to continue to fight the good fight, at home. To show your continued support despite the assorted outside factors that can jump in the way of a normal life. We are strong. We have a voice to be heard. And above all we are exactly who each of our spouses needs to continue in a difficult role as an American hero. We know the sidekicks never get the glory, but we know that ‘dependent’ is just a title. Strive to be dependable, not simply dependent.