Today is a day set aside to provide recognition to the "guardians of the homefront," as I like to call us. The Military Spouse is an often overlooked role, a generally thankless job, and at times the hardest job in the world.
My little sister likely doesn't realize that today is a holiday for me, but I received probably the best gift today from her:
I know I said that this is hard for (my son) with (hubby) gone, but I couldnt imagine how hard it has to be for you. You are an amazing mother and coastie chick, Your little fellas might be too young to realize what you have to do by yourself, but it is noticed. Love you!!
To put a different spin on things, I'm going to -- as a Military Spouse -- recognize the things that I have great appreciation for. I mean, it's not always easy being the spouse of a man that's underway. Especially instances like in December when we had the mouse infestation in my home while my hubby was underway. Last night, I got the privilege of dragging both of my kids to the emergency room because one was having an allergic reaction to some medication (which is what my sister was referring to). Face it - it's hard to be thankful on days like that.
I am thankful, though. I am thankful for the benefits that military families receive. I am so thankful that, in an economy where many people are losing everything, my husband has a job still. I am not holding my breath wondering what the next day will bring, because I know it'll be filled with dirty black socks, ODU's that could stand to be dyed once again, and the never-ending search for blousing straps. The emergency room visit last night did not make me fear where the money would come from, or second guess even going in because I could not afford it. Even though Tricare can be a headache, they take care of my family, and I appreciate that.
I am so thankful for my friends that are fellow Coast Guard wives. I have so much support. I get a phone call almost daily from a friend thousands of miles away, e-mails from friends in Alaska, and share in the triumphs and disappointments of people that are "in the same boat" even though we've never met or only met face-to-face briefly. I have a support network that is incredible. I know who to call for help with CG policy, who would know answers to my medical questions, who will have the perfect recipe for an appetizer, and who tells the best dirty jokes. I don't have anyone next door that can help, but I have the privilege of having a network that spans the United States and a couple of territories. I'm pretty sure many of my civilian counterparts don't have that.
Mostly, I'm thankful for my husband. I am so thankful that I can be a proud Coast Guard wife. I am thankful that he encompasses Honor, Respect, and Devotion to Duty. It makes me feel elated to admire his brag wall in our living room, and see the many times he has been honored and recognized in just a few short years. I remember all too well the civilian life, and what it was to be married to a man that was not happy with where he was or what he was doing. In essence, December 14, 2004 -- the day my husband enlisted -- I was married to a new man. A man satisfied in what he was doing, and even delighted to be starting a new way of life. A man dedicated to serving his country, and eager to learn all he could about being the best Coastie he could be. That's also the day I became a Military Spouse.
So Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Take time to let those you love and count on know how much their service means to you, and let them know you are proud of what their husbands do, too.