Celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day!
by Lizann Lightfoot - May 5th, 2022
Military spouses are a unique community that we celebrate every year on Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Shared experiences make the military spouse community a tight one. Additionally, it’s a small community and its' members are as varied as the active duty community.
According to the most recent Department of Defense (DoD) data, there are 641,639 spouses of active duty service members. Thirteen percent of those spouses also serve in the military making them dual-military families. Military Spouse Magazine reports nearly 15% of military spouses are male, a percentage which rises every year.
Thirty years ago, military wives were discouraged from joining the workforce. The thinking at the time was that for a spouse to be able to truly support her husband, she needed to be at home. Some spouses were also expected to lead and support fellow military spouses in their husband’s unit or squadron. However, if they did work, they filled mainly school teacher or administrative roles. Wives were discouraged from pursuing professional careers on their own.
We’ve come a long way baby! Fast forward to today where military spouses work in many different professions. More than half of military spouses have completed some college classes, and about a third have earned college degrees. They are often encouraged by their active duty spouses to climb the career ladder. Additionally, a growing number of spouses become entrepreneurs and start businesses that will move with them. And many spouses choose to stay at home to be a full-time Mom or Dad.
Military Spouse Appreciation Day
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation designating the Friday before Mother’s Day as Military Spouse Appreciation Day. It is a day set aside to recognize “the profound importance of spouse commitment to the readiness and well-being of service members on active duty and the National Guard and Reserve, and to the security of our Nation."
Why we celebrate military spouses
Military spouses are a special group that bears the burden of holding a military family together during all the ups and downs of military life. On Military Spouse Appreciation Day, we celebrate the strength and diversity of our spouse community.
Thank you, military spouses, for all the times you have bravely moved to a new town, a new state, or a new country when your service member got orders.
Thank you, military spouses, for all the time you have spent alone while your service member was away training or deployed. You stayed strong, handling every challenge that came up at home, while laughing at the term “dependent.”
Thank you, military spouses, for all the research you do before and after a move, all the paperwork you organize, and all the errands you run, to help your family adjust smoothly.
Thank you, military spouses, for all the career sacrifices you have made, remaining flexible and learning to pivot, so your service member could remain in the military.
Thank you, military spouses, for your warmth and generosity when welcoming new neighbors, supporting young spouses, watching each others’ children, lending a helping hand, and always being ready to share a laugh or a beverage at the end of a difficult day. I am so proud to walk among you.
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