Every May, since 1999 when Congress officially made it part of Military Appreciation Month, we’ve been recognizing Military Spouse Appreciation Day. It’s our chance to honor the commitment and sacrifice of the silent ranks.
The Department of Defense joined suit in honoring military spouses by distinguishing the Friday before Mother’s Day as the official Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
Pledging to support their loved one, military spouses fearlessly stand behind the uniform. They tackle parenting alone, pursue education and careers to provide for their families, and in some cases, drop everything to care for their spouse injured in combat.
So why don’t many of the military spouses I spoke with want to be recognized? Why would they call it ‘just another day’ as important to them as “National Grilled Cheese Day?”
“I don’t need a pat on the back from those who don’t understand this lifestyle,” one military spouse said. “But it would be nice for service members to take a moment to reflect on how their spouses have helped support their careers. To take a quiet moment to say thank you.”
Are there flowers? Cards? Breakfast in bed? Shouldn’t this be the Mother’s Day before Mother’s Day?
“I don’t expect anything special, and we don’t celebrate it in my house,” another military spouse shared. “It’s nice when the base does something for us, but truly, it’s not necessary. My husband is the hero, not me.”
Besides quiet moments of appreciation from our heroes in uniform, there was one other thing military spouses agreed upon… appreciating each other is what makes Military Spouse Appreciation Day special to them. There may not be a big ceremony, flowers, or a Presidential declaration, but military spouses do like to feel the love from each other.
“I try to use Military Spouse Appreciation Day as a reminder to thank the fellow military spouses I know who have made a positive impact on my life,” one spouse shared. “It’s a good excuse to send some love!”
Another military spouse shared the same sentiment, “Life is too short to not love and appreciate those around us [by saying] thank you to all the spouses in my life that I know and love.”
At NMFA, we know military spouse serve in ways their civilian counterparts don’t understand. Through the highs and lows of military life, military spouses overcome obstacles no matter what.
So on a day that’s supposed to be all about them, it’s no surprise most military spouses are doing what they do best: supporting and encouraging each other.
THAT is worth appreciating.
How do you celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day? Or don’t you?
Posted by Shannon Prentice, Content Development Manager