Our military personnel are stationed all over the world, many in extremely dangerous areas. Imagine being married to one of those heroes and realizing that you might not see them for up to 3 years or more while they are deployed, and in extreme cases, maybe never again. Not only do you lose your lover, your best friend, and your confidant, but you gain all the responsibilities they were forced to leave behind. The rent still has to be paid on time, groceries still have to be bought, cars have to be maintained, in other words… life goes on. It’s hard enough for two people to make it in life today, let alone one with little to no support. Now maybe you add a child or two to the story and things get even tougher, or maybe you have a relative that you care for that has some sort debilitating health issue. They all still have to be taken care of.
And when the Soldier/Sailor/Airman returns, just when things are supposed to get easier, what happens if they return wounded or missing limbs. Did you know that 30% of all military personnel returning from a combat area suffer from PTSD? (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) Now the nights become suffering through reoccurring nightmares and days living with the constant reminders and struggles the soldier has been afflicted by. Its as though they have brought the war home with them and are living it over and over everyday, and their loved one has to become a part of it as well.
Really when you think about it, when you send one person over seas (man or woman) you are actually sending their spouse and children, their mothers and fathers grandparents, brothers, sisters, etc. with them in many ways. The difference is, your tax dollars aren’t paying for any of them directly. The military isn’t housing all of them directly and emotionally. No one is attending their to their welfare. The one who suffers the most, is the spouse. They are the ones waiting by the phone or dreading the knock on the door, hoping that call or telegram doesn’t come, and have no one to hug away their fears and tears. I am sure we can all agree that family is wonderful but no matter how much they try, no matter how much they succeed, they are not the lover, not the best friend, nor the true confidant.
So give it up for the military spouse like Ronald Reagan did when he created this holiday in 1984. They are the unsung heroes, they are seldom patted on the back and no one gets up and claps for them when they walk through an airport. Military personnel are due all the respect they get, and more, but so are their wives and husbands waiting for them to come home.
How to celebrate: Find someone who is a spouse of someone serving and take them to dinner. Sit and listen to them, let them pour out their hearts to someone who cares. Watch their children so they can have a day to themselves to do whatever they want.