Mil Spouses Don’t Serve, But They Do Sacrifice

Written by: Erin Beene
A group of friends made a trip to Denver, Colorado in support of Colonel Galberts change of command ceremony at FE Warren AFB last year. Melvina Arriola Murray photo

Military Spouse Appreciation Day. One day, in one of the busiest months of the year (second only to December holidays), we set aside to celebrate the behind the scenes military spouse. A day set amidst the chaos of end of school vacation planning, dance recitals, PCS prep and so much more, this day in May is the perfect time to set aside to honor the Army, Air Force, Space Force, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard husbands and wives.

Left: A group of military members and mil spouses gathers for a surprise birthday party!
Alexandria Carter photo

The military spouse doesn’t serve in combat. The military spouse doesn’t train for battle. The military spouse doesn’t report for PT or get “voluntold” for extra duty. The military spouse wears no rank and has no obligation to follow orders from whichever brand of the military their partner operates with. They don’t get thanked for their service when spotted in uniform off base. They have no distinguishing marks. They are made up of every color, shape and nationality. Mil Spouses can’t be recognized by their “military cut” hair.
Military spouses have a lot of freedoms that their AD husbands and wives aren’t afforded; yet, many spouses everywhere have also issued the words, “I’m not the one who signed up for this.” The military lifestyle can be both extremely rewarding and earth-shatteringly difficult. When a servicemember signs that dotted line, his entire family takes an unwritten oath to live a life of uncertainty.

Even though the military has little actual legal authority over the military dependents and spouses, it would be misleading to say that the Military Spouse does not serve. It is just in a different capacity. Mil Spouses don’t put their lives on the line, but they do sacrifice. They do serve…

Mil Spouses sacrifice a home near extended family. They sacrifice careers. They serve as single parents when their spouse is deployed. They serve by being by his/her spouse’s side through the hard times. They serve by setting up an entirely new household every few years. They serve and sacrifice by being the ones in the background, the unpaid volunteers, the ones who willingly acknowledge that their career comes second so our country can be properly defended with Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and Guardians.

They are not meek or quiet, but strong, able, resilient and adaptable. The typical Mil Spouse has changed over the years, and no longer fits a white-gloved demeanor of years gone by. They have evolved into a unique group of empowered individuals who, though all very different, have been a vital part of our country’s military forces. They support those who defend our Nation.

So, today, on this day we salute the partners to all our Service members. The military spouses who do what needs to be done and “make the best of it”.

We see you.

Thank-you for your service to our Nation!
*Spouses at Minot AFB can sign-up to receive discounts and special prizes throughout the month of May by texting “minot” to 40691

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