Wish to let your neighboring military spouse know that you are there for them in case they might need anything? National Military Spouse Appreciation Day is the perfect occasion to get in touch, show respect, and send a card or gift to these wonderful, courageous people.
Everyone recognizes what an honorable job military personnel do on a daily basis. On the news, we often hear about the ultimate sacrifice soldiers all the way across the world have made in order to protect their nation from those who threaten innocent civilians.
We are always moved by these stories, our minds struggling to comprehend the enormous courage, determination and heroism these individuals possessed that allowed them to give up their lives so we, the civilians, may continue to live safe lives, free of oppression and terror.
However, it seems that in we all too often forget about one of the most important things to these soldiers, and many times the only thing that keeps them going even in the most unbearable conditions—their spouses.
The spouses of those fighting foreign wars spend years supporting their husbands or wives, praying for them, constantly fearing for their safety, staying up late at night waiting for some sign of life.
It is also these spouses that are forced find a way to go on with their lives when their husband or wife is killed in one of these wars, left only with memories of them.
And even when a military spouse’s husband or wife does finally come home, the hardships are far from over, as up to 30% of war veterans may suffer PTSD for years, with symptoms ranging from nightmares to emotional detachment to alcoholism or drug abuse.
Whatever your views on foreign policy, there is no question that military spouses’ lives are full of sacrifice, a sacrifice we should remember and be grateful for.
History of National Military Spouse Appreciation Day
Originating in the United States during 1984, at the height of the Cold War. It was created by President Ronald Reagan, who wanted to raise awareness about just how much spousal commitment helps military personnel get through the worst of times, as well as celebrate the immense love these husbands and wives have for each other that makes this commitment possible.
Since then, every US President has celebrated the day each year and has encouraged the world’s population to do just the same, recognizing not just the risk which military personnel exposes themselves to every day of the year, but also to the supportive families who make their many struggles bearable. The holiday takes place the Friday preceding Mother’s Day.
How to celebrate National Military Spouse Appreciation Day
As mentioned before, spending years fearing for the life of a spouse takes a profound toll on a person’s psychological and emotional well-being, so military spouses will definitely appreciate even small signs of support from others. If you wish, you could make a donation to one of the organizations dedicated to helping military spouses. You could also opt for a more personal touch, and help assemble and distribute gift packs to military spouses.
It is also possible to send a simple thank-you card to a military spouse. The gesture may not seem too grand, but it could do a great deal to cheer up a lonely, worried military wife or husband.
Getting to know military partners a little more personally can help you get a better idea of what they might need or desire while their other half is far away. For example, for not-yet-so-good cooks, a subscription to a home-delivery service might help them have a plan B if their past does not turn out so good. Alternatively, for wine-lovers, a bottle of wine to enjoy while watching their favorite TV series might make their evenings more cheerful!
For spouses that are still housekeepers in the making, put your expertise to work! Whether you are an expert gardener or you know a thing or two about pipes, mixing a messy garden or leaking sink is always appreciated.
Build essential bridges
While it is easy to forget so, military spouses tend to have a life that is different from the one most families live. They move from place to place often, having to build personal relationships and friendships every time from the beginning after a move. They are often away from other members of their families and life-long friends.
Loneliness can be one of the scariest fears they might have to face! Even worse, finding a space in a community in every new place can increase the pressure they already have to withstand. Don’t forget; these struggles are additional to kids, pets, housekeeping, schooling, and various errands. They live hectic lives.
Instead, celebrate this day by making the first move and take the arduous task of finding friends off their minds! Even if you are not the most outgoing of people, National Military Spouse Appreciation Day is just the perfect occasion to knock on their doors and invite them for a movie night, a spa day, or just for a coffee or beer. Aside from offering them the chance to confide in and chat with somebody, military partners can so take their mind off the fear and apprehension for their deployed spouses for a few hours. And this can be very beneficial for their wellbeing!
Such a simple gesture can genuinely improve their quality of life and happiness level while in town. It is also a win-win situation! Both of you can enjoy the company of a new friend and spend some time outside of the house. Ultimately, it is a great way to let a neighboring military spouse know that their efforts are understood, appreciated, and held in high respect. However, they do not necessarily have to face the hardest times alone, as somebody is always there for a chat!
There are also plenty of other little things you could do all on your own to help make a military spouse’s life a bit easier, like offering to help mow the lawn or watch his or her children every now and then. How you decide to celebrate this National Military Spouse Appreciation Day is up to you, the important thing is to find a way to show these people the respect and compassion they deserve. Knowing a little more about the person can help to find out what is the perfect gift for them. Start by inviting them out for a coffee every now and then, they will appreciate it!