Military Spouse Appreciation Day – History and Ideas

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

It is said that “behind every strong soldier there is an even stronger family who stands with them, supports them, and loves them with all their heart.” 

Every citizen of every country should be proud of their military and their families as they are making an honorable sacrifice not to save their own but to save the people of their country. As their families wait for months and years together, the soldiers fight day and night with no proper food, water, and sleep.

It’s very true when they say that God chose and the most courageous people like military spouses because what they endure is something nobody can understand or comprehend. It’s a service for which can never have any price. Military spouses are the backbone of the soldiers during every single stage of their military life. They are those silent heroes who fight the war at home while their loved ones are fighting the war somewhere else. Various ranges of events are held on this day to thank the military spouses. These heroes need to be thanked every day. It’s a cherry on the top that one day is publically given to thank the members of these brave soldiers.

The day that is chosen for the celebration of the military spouse is exceptional and iconic as it is celebrated a day before mother’s day. In India, the land is known as Bharath Maata, which means mother. It represents the idea of military sacrificing and fighting for the motherland’s well-being. Hence, choosing a day before mother’s Day to celebrate the military spouse is a prestigious and glorious way to thank the military spouses for their great dedication. Every year during May and a day before mother’s day, military spouse appreciation day is celebrated in the United States of America. This year military spouse appreciation day was celebrated on 7th May 2021. 

The History Behind the Military Spouse Appreciation Day

The 40th president of the United States Of America, Ronald Regan, who served from 1981 to 1989, recognized the importance of spousal commitment, which acted as the driving force behind the well-being and readiness of the soldiers and declared May 23rd as military spouse day with the proclamation 5184 dated 17th April 1984. Ronald Regan had said, and I quote, “There is another group which deserves special thanks, the wives of our servicemen, wives who take care of the families and raise the children while their husbands are at sea or stationed far away, and wives who have left our shores to be in a faraway land with their husband. Their contribution is critical. The understanding and encouragement they give our servicemen is something we must all be grateful for.”

The US secretary of defense, Casper Weinberger, standardized this date by declaring every Friday preceding mother’s day to military spouse day. Later in the year 2017, Donald Trump, on May 12th, issued a presidential proclamation which is a statement issued by the U.S president on an issue of public policy and is a presidential directive for military spouse day.

Donald Trump had also said under similar lines, and I quote, “Military spouses, who stand alongside our men and women in uniform, share in our service members’ heroic endeavors through selfless service, immeasurable contributions, and noble sacrifices. Through their dedication to their loved ones, military spouses support the mission of our Armed Forces to defend our Nation and preserve our liberty. On Military Spouse Day, we pay tribute to these extraordinary individuals who strengthen and enrich our fighting forces, our communities, and our Republic.” 

 These lines are available in every article, but it is present so many times to remind assure people that the sacrifice done by the soldiers and families is greater than any politician, whether he is from 1981 or 2017. Something as deadly as the pandemic couldn’t stop the high spirits of the soldiers and their family then why should the celebration. Keeping in mind all the protocols and safety measures in mind, a virtual military spouse appreciation day town hall was conducted on 7th May 2021 at 3 pm EST by joining the blue star families. It was an event that included a special thank you from Mrs. Karen Pence, the second lady of the United States. This year’s celebration included many events on various online platforms to make the best day for all military spouses during such tough times. 

Spectacular ideas for Military Spouse Appreciation day 

  • A complete day off. Every spouse deserves a day off, but a military spouse deserves it more as they go through immense pressure, not just about themselves and their living but also their loved ones who are far away fighting for the country. 

  • Taking all the hate away. On this day, everyone can finish the work the military spouse hates the most to have peace and calmness. This is an efficient way to remove what they hate the most on such a special day. 

  • The charm of gifts. Nothing is more beautiful and amazing than a secret present of flowers, chocolates or anything that they love the most being given to them. The idea of giving them something always matters the most the price of the gifts that are given—it all the emotions. 

  • Simple expression. Just a small thank you to these military spouses can mean the world. Their work as military spouses will never end, but thanking them makes it much easier. There are so many creative ways to say thank you, and they deserve it all. 

  • A scrumptious meal. A small breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three can make a military spouse’s day special. They will cherish every moment of it and acts as their source of happiness when they are down. 

  • Worthy pamper. Nothing can beat a relaxing spa or massage on this day. This not just not makes them feel better mentally but also physically. All their stiff, tight muscles due to constant stress will relax and finally be stretched out. 

  • Solving their problems. Though this should be done all the time, whether it’s appreciation day or not, if any military spouse is facing any problem, then it is the duty and the responsibility of the people to make it right. This is the least we can do as citizens to make their lives easier. 

  • Special military coupon. This is a unique and interesting idea where a coupon booklet is specially made for military spouses, and they are asked to pick the ones of their choice. It can have common things, or it can specifically be regarding the spouses. 

  • Building essential bridges. Military spouses and other members of the family get constantly displaced. They go through a tremendous amount of changes. Hence, as civilians and neighbors, the simplest thing is to talk to them, introduce them to various and clear all the voids and gaps they face. Again something is not done on one specific day, but the entire time one gets the chance to do so.   

These are just some small, simple ideas that everyone can make use of and if you can think and have more creativity and ideas, then go for it. It’s all worth the effort. It’s your celebration, and hence you can make any right decision you want. This celebration aims to acknowledge their sacrifice and problems and help them and bring a smile to their faces. 

Military spouses know the importance and value of family and family members, so it’s important to make them feel like a part of your own family. People don’t realize that military spouses can do anything to be there for their families and protect their families at all costs. It’s an instinct found only in military families. Civilian minds can’t comprehend the amount of courage, strength, determination, and heroism of these brave soldiers and their families. Military spouses not just face physical problems such as constant shifting to new places, adjustments to new environment and culture, changes of workplace and education.

These are just some of them. Still, one cannot imagine the mental and emotional pain that these spouses go through. They constantly wait nights together to get some sign of life; they never pray endlessly for their family members fighting the war in some foreign land. They never know what will happen next. The pain of losing a family member in a war can be devastating and have so much damage on the family members. The worst part is even though their family members come back due to numerous circumstances, it’s so difficult for them and their family members to get back the normal life.

The war has mental hazards that affect not just the soldier but also his family. The parents, the wife, the children of these soldiers go through so much physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and the least we civilians can do is thank them for all of that. Military spouses shouldn’t be thanked one day. They should be thanked every day by everybody. 

It’s not just the civilians’ responsibility but also the government’s responsibility as well. While they are different small things that the people can do to make military spouses life easier, the government has also done things keeping in mind their responsibilities and duties towards the family fighting with their life at stake every minute and every second. Some of them being:

  1. Military Spouse Career Advancement Account 
  2. Military Spouses Scholarships 
  3. License Transfers 
  4. Morale, Welfare, and Recreation
  5. Military Spouse Tax Benefits

These are some of the major things provided to military spouses to make their lives a little better. These benefits might look small and unnecessary to many people, but one must understand these small things make a major difference in military spouses’ lives. 

It requires many guts to be a part of the military and fight for the nation, but it requires more guts to send a family member to fight the war. Though some military spouses might consider this day to be another holiday, we as human beings have to understand their situations and be as grateful as we can. We must understand that this might not be a big thing for them as they feel that they are doing their duty and responsibility as a military family member. Still, we must look beyond that and see that they hadn’t done what they are doing, then the world would now be a catastrophic disaster. 

To conclude, we wouldn’t be able to go about our daily lives if not for the soldiers and their family members. Today people are sleeping peacefully because they know that they are soldiers standing at the borders protecting them without sleep. A family is staying awake or sleeps in fear for that soldier. Today civilians can go about their daily lives because a soldier and his family are not having a normal life. These soldiers and their families are not asking people to treat them like a god, but they just ask for a small and simple thing to be treated like any other human. What they do is extraordinary, but all they ask for is basic ordinary human treatment. The highest obligation and citizenship is that of the person bearing arms for his country and his family. A military family is a family of patriots. One can take the blood and life out of them but can’t take their patriotism. The family of a soldier shares the happiest hello and the hardest goodbyes. The sacrifices that these families make are genuine and out of mind that it’s tough to understand.

 I wanted to end this article with a quote by Barak Obama on November 1st, 2011. He said, “just as the troops embody the courage and character that makes America’s military finest in the world, their family members embody the resilience and generosity that make our communities strong. They serve with heroism in their homes and neighborhoods while they are without the comfort of having their loved ones nearby”. 

Also read Administrative Professionals Day – Roles and History

Military Spouse Appreciation Day – History and Ideas

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