Did you know that November is Military Family Appreciation Month? It was started in 1993 by the Armed Services YMCA. This organization was responsible for officially making it an annual proclamation. It’s purpose was and continues to be for recognizing the contributions and sacrifices made by the families of service members. In honor of their dedicated support, I’ve listed 5 qualities that make our military families worthy of our nation’s support.
Passionately Patriotic – One of the reasons I embraced the military lifestyle was the patriotic response I saw all around me as a young and newly married military wife. I had never seen such patriotism until I stood pier side among thousands of other family members for the great homecomings of the warships my husband served on. Military families care deeply about their nation. Deep down they know they are part of something honorable, even though they wear no uniform. They “serve” behind the scenes. When a service member retires or leaves military service, their patriotism, and Americanism lives on. They become the beacon of light to those that follow them in military service.
Military Families are Natural Volunteers – Oftentimes you will find military families volunteering in their commands, communities, schools, and for worthy causes. They are used to the idea of sacrificial service as they live it every day, For many military families volunteering is just part of the military lifestyle.
Military Families are Sacrificial-Even though they don’t wear a uniform, they, too, serve this country. They forfeit holidays, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and major milestones without their beloved service member. Even when times get downright hard, they endure, knowing this time of extreme difficulty will pass. Deep down there is the belief that their sacrifice matters and contributes, however small, to lasting freedom and the upholding of the core values of this nation. They realize their military member’s service is honorable and worthy of their dedication and commitment. The military family’s commitment and faithful support becomes part of the mosaic of the faithful support of all those that came before them.
Spouses of Military Members – The military spouse who becomes the ‘home-keeper’ has an important role to fill. The spouse’s support is vital to the overall success of his or her service member’s job. If the home is not stable or unified, this has the potential to affect not only the service member’s performance, but also his or her command readiness level. For this reason, military spouses need support and prayer. Although there are Family Readiness Programs , military spouses carry a heavy burden in which circumstances constantly change, adding anxiety and stress.
I knew that marrying a military man would mean frequent moves, but more importantly, I knew it also meant that there would be occasions in my future in which I would have to give up a good job or forfeit that much needed promotion in order to go where the military sent my husband. I chose to look at the positives, such as, the opportunity to live overseas and experience a different culture, which led to wonderful opportunities to write about and share with others. Moving frequently allowed me to further develop my viewpoints about our world, adapt to changes, meet interesting people, experience new things, and grow in confidence.
Extended Family Members – In our case, we were never stationed near family. However, those military families who are blessed with family living near by, we can’t forget their service. Often, grandparents become vital in the lives of military kids. Grandparents are often called on to open their homes to care for grandkids because both parents are deployed or the military spouse needs the additional help. When I returned to school to get my accounting degree I had a seven year old and a newborn. My husband was deployed. After working a full day, I went to class at night. We had two civilian families that came alongside me and watched my kids so I could attend my night class. These families were instrumental in not only helping me with school but also in lifting my spirits when feeling burned out.
Bless Them With A Thank You and A Prayer
When you run into or meet a military spouse or family, bless them with a ‘thank you.’ That ‘thank you’ might just be the encouraging word an overwhelmed military spouse needs to hear to keep enduring a difficult time. Our military families are indispensable. It takes a military family to support the member. Without them, our country has no backbone to support military members. Prayer is the best thing you can do for these military families. Pray for the home front spouse, pray for their marriages, pray for their children, pray for their safety, and pray for our country to remain militarily strong.
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