Celebrating Military Spouse Day
Anyone who has been in the military will tell you, it’s more than just a job that you work at 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., come home, and forget about it over the weekend. Military service can affect where you live, what you do with the majority of your day, and even whether or not you make it home at the end of the day.
Service is a full-time commitment by an entire family, and military spouses are one of the most supportive yet under-recognized groups connected to protecting our nation’s freedom.
To remedy this, in April 1986, U.S. President Ronal Reagan recognized the profound importance of spouse commitment to the wellbeing of military members by declaring May 23, 1984 the first “Military Spouse Day.” The U.S. Secretary of Defense would later standardize the honorary date as every Friday preceding Mother’s Day. For 2016, the celebratory date will be Friday, May 6.
While a simple “thank you” goes a long way, there are many simple things you can do to help recognize military spouses in your community. For example:
- Give them a shout out: Social media is an easy way to say thanks and also encourage others to recognize military spouses in their circles as well. Tag your military spouse friends, our simply make a simple statement of thanks. Don’t forget the hashtag #Militaryspouseappreciationday
- Make an unexpected gesture. A simple handwritten note, a small gift card to a favorite coffee shop, even a handshake or hug. You never know what small action could make a difference in the day of a military spouse.
- Offer to help. If a military spouse is a close friend, why not take this honorary day as a chance to give them a little break. They often are juggling the roles of both parents, and could most likely use an hour or so to themselves, a pedicure or manicure, maybe just some uninterrupted time to aimlessly wander a bookstore. Offer to come watch the kids, bring a pizza, and kick them out of the house.
- Volunteer. If you don’t have any military spouses in your family or circle of friends, you can always volunteer at your local VA hospital or USO center. VA hospitals also work closely with area group homes to house families needing to live nearby a hospitalized veteran; these homes often can use the help of volunteers in a wide range of chores and activities.
If you yourself are the spouse of a military serviceman or woman, Military Appreciation Day could be the perfect chance to treat yourself to a break in your regular routine, a small trip with the kids, or even a mini shopping-spree (be sure to ask about military discounts that might extend to spouses).
Whatever you choose to do, we hope that you feel appreciated and supported on this special day. The great military heroes of our country could not do what they do without the love and support of the strong network of military husbands and wives.
Written by Megan Hammons