First off let me say that I am so honored to even have the opportunity to write about this. To be nominated for the Military Spouse of the Year Award is huge to me. I guess it’s because we just do what we have to do so that our family and the families serving beside us stay strong and full of love. We never really think about being recognized for it, but I’m grateful that it doesn’t go unnoticed. There are hundreds and thousands of military spouses that serve with me and before me that are deserving of these accolades. I hope I merely make them proud and can represent what we all truly stand for.
As spouses we all serve and sacrifice so that our respective missions can run seamlessly. I had the opportunity to hear our Wing Commander speak to spouses and field questions. One spouse asked “What is one thing we can do as spouses to help our Airmen succeed?” A smile came to my face as I thought to myself, just asking that question is huge in itself. She was thinking of the bigger picture as she knew the importance of what her spouse does and the role she plays. The Commander touched on how a spouse becomes wed to that branch of service and serves just as much as the active duty member does. This is so true. Our Vice Wing Commander’s story was told as they are mil to mil (both individuals are active duty) and they created a family goal so that they both could work towards that goal. That goal is referred to when decisions need to be made and will ultimately determine when one or the other spouse may get out. I love the common message that the couple become a powerful team when there is understanding, flexibility and a common goal. We embrace the adventure as spouses and we help each other along the way. I’m proud to be called a military spouse!
Here are some excerpts from my Military Souse of the Year profile. To see more from me and other amazing spouses, check out msoy.afi.org.
What is something you’ve learned from being a military spouse?
One thing I’ve learned about being a military spouse is that it’s not all about me. Often times we get caught up in our own personal issues because they are close to us, but being a military spouse has given me the perspective that there are bigger issues in the world or just next door that is worth my attention, thoughts and prayers. This lesson has allowed me to be flexible with changing ops tempos, a better friend and key spouse and to be global minded in trying to do my part.
What is one of the most important issues facing military families?
One of the most important issues facing military families is the employment of military spouses. Spouses face challenges with the transfer of professional licenses, networking and connecting with employers in new PCS locations and access to GS positions. There has been some ground work done in this area, but still a majority of spouses aren’t working not due to personal preference, but because there aren’t proper systems in place to better support them.
What is one of the best aspects of being in a military family?
I love being a military family because I feel like my family is all over the world. It truly is! My husband is a military brat so this isn’t new to him, but for me, I’ve just been amazed by how complete strangers can find such a strong common bond and become like sisters and brothers. We have made amazing friendships and I love planning trips to visit a new duty station that friends may be assigned to. We support each other, we vent to one another and we love each other like one big family. I think those relationships are the best kept secret of a military family because the job may or may not be your dream, and the resources and healthcare may be great, but I’d always choose this life over any other because of our extended military family.