Today is National Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Today is a day for me! But what on earth does it really mean?

It depends on who you ask. A civilian will likely say it’s a day for those women who support their soldiers in the military. To civilians military spouses are this weird creature that usually takes a back seat to their husbands’ career and moves their kids all over the country. A military service member probably doesn’t know about it but when toled he will say its a day that is well deserved for a woman who doesn’t get nearly enough thanks. For most soldiers their spouse is the one holding down the fort, raising the kids, packing and unpacking the house while they are off doing things they probably can’t even describe.

Ask a military spouse though and you will likely get all sorts of answers. Some wear their status as a badge of honor; they share their husband’s rank. Some won’t mention it unless pressed to do so. Most fall somewhere in the middle.

I am proud of my husband’s service and very proud to be a military wife, but it’s a life that he chose. I didn’t chose to be in the service and while I did marry him after he joined the military, he is in the National Guard so we don’t live the “military lifestyle”. If I’m honest, sometimes the military life grates on me. Like during deployment. The rest of the time it’s pretty cool. My husband does something he can be proud of and contributes in a way that not many do. I get a lot of discounts. 😀

While out and about, I am used to people thanking him for his service and I smile while they chat. Over the last several months while my husband has been on deployment I have been thanked myself. Most people don’t know what to say other than “thank your husband for his service”, but I had an older gentleman one day say “Thank you for the support you give to your husband’s service. He could do it without you but he surely doesn’t want to”. That made a lot of sense to me.

We military spouses don’t serve and we don’t deserve accolades or awards or really even our own day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to be thanked for holding down the fort once in a while but don’t do it for the pride or the bragging rights. We certainly don’t do this because of the money or the prestige. We don’t even do this for the satisfaction of a job well done. We do this for the love of our soldiers. If I can ease his burden just a little then all of the nights alone, cereal dinners, and wailing children are worth whatever  stress that come with them.

So here’s to you, military spouse. Most of us don’t even know this day exists and could probably care less, but I thank you nonetheless. Your tired eyes and permanently furrowed brow are a dead giveaway that you are worried about someone you love yet trying desperately not to let others know how worried you really are. Your sleepless nights and frustrated days are a testament to the love you bear for your soldier. Take a break for a minute, take a vacation, take a yoga class. You at the very least deserve a good glass of wine and a bubble bath on your very own day.