Dear Military Spouse,
On this Veteran’s Day I want you to know that you are seen & recognized alongside your husband or wife. You are a treasure to this country and you don’t hear it enough.
I was a military brat who grew up to marry a man in the military. When I say I have a profound & deep appreciation for the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces, you can believe it. My heart swells with affection and gratitude when I think of what they have always been willing, ready & able to do for our country – for each of us.
But I see you, too.
You don’t wear a uniform, and there is no rank on your sleeve. You aren’t celebrated with a parade, no one salutes as you walk past, and strangers don’t thank you for your service.
The truth is, you don’t expect those kinds of accolades and even if you received them you’d no doubt point them in the direction of the person you love who does wear the uniform. Your pride in the job your spouse does is almost too big for words, and no one is his or her cheerleader more so than you.
Your marriage isn’t the same as for civilians. It just isn’t. While your spoken vows were for your husband or wife, it’s the unspoken vows that set your union apart.
You promised to understand when your partner comes home from a lengthy training or deployment, dog tired & unable to “turn off” the rigors and routine of that exercise. (Chow is at 5PM sharp, civilian – not whenever you get home from work, help the kids with school work, and thaw the pork chops!)
You promised to be a single parent as often as need be, and the truth is “need be” is a lot.
You promised to have Thanksgiving on October 15th because your spouse will be out of country all of November.
You promised to deal with family illnesses and traumas without your partner, and to not make them feel guilty they weren’t there to help.
You promised to take insane numbers of pictures and videos of every single thing that happens on the home front to share with your spouse.
You promised to be your husband or wife’s soft place to land when they feel broken, angry and traumatized at the loss of their fellow soldiers & friends.
You promised to love your country so much that you would selflessly allow the one person you love more than any other to put themselves in harm’s way, knowing all the while that the kiss you share before they fly to some distant land may be your last.
I see you. All of us at Love & Marriage see you. While we may not have a medal to pin on your chest, we want you to know that we love you, we respect you, we appreciate you, and we acknowledge the sacrifice you have made and continue to make for the United States of America.
May God bless you & yours now and always.
If you are a military spouse, share what it’s like in the comments below. Let people know what your life is like.
Sher Bailey is a writer in the Midwest who believes the power of humor, Mod Podge, and grandkids can fix most problems in life. You can find her at SherBailey.com.