While more than half of 1.4 million current active duty service members are married, researchers at Regis University found, these military spouses are rarely considered when documenting the costs of wartime service.
According to the research, “when the average, non-military American thinks about the United States’ conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, he or she generally associates the stressors and casualties of the wars with the active-duty services members.”
Contrary to these findings, the spouses typically endure comparable amounts of stress, but their health care needs are often obscured by a primary concern for the soldier. Fortunately, reliance on self-care and spousal support can offer a viable means to cope.
Joining Forces hosts a Mother’s Day tea every year for mothers in military families, including female service members who are mothers, as well as military spouses. It is just a gesture — as Michelle Obama said, “at the end of the day, it is just tea” — but it is a gesture that sends a message that these military families are important. It also makes a huge difference for the military families who are invited into the White House with open arms.
This year, Military Spouse Central was invited to attend the May 9 event, thanks to Circle of Moms by POPSUGAR who arranged for Military Spouse Bloggers to cover this event.
Picking up and moving to a foreign country can not only be stressful, it can be scary. With a variety of supportive resources, especially if living on base, Heather Sweeney says it can be far too easy to hide in the fishbowl in hopes of replicating life in America. A Navy wife and mother of two, Sweeney experienced her own hesitation while stationed with her husband in Japan.
“The language was too hard to learn, I’d be way too far away from family, and there was no way a 5′ 7″ blonde female could possibly blend in. I would stand out like, well, an American in Japan,” she writes in SpouseBUZZ.
Fortunately, Sweeney overcame the culture shock to make the best of the overseas tour. Here’s how you can too.
No matter how seasoned a military family is, every deployment presents new challenges.
One of the most resilient characteristics of military families is their ability to find creative ways to help get through the many days and nights of deployment. One popular idea is a deployment wall.
A deployment wall is a collage of various elements relating to a deployment that can include anything that a family wants or finds useful. Elements that allow children to engage and learn about where their parent is can help kids focus on the less scary aspects of deployment.