As a member of the United States Armed Forces I often hear: “Thank you for your service.” But how often do we thank a military spouse?
Who thanks those who work behind the scenes to make the home life of military personnel less of a concern so military members can focus on the task at hand? Soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, Coast Guards — they are all people with personal lives and personal affairs. When we are overseas we have to leave everything behind. I can’t tell you how important it is that things at home are “squared away.” Soldiers worried about their children, their home, their bills or their parents will not be able to focus on the mission. This isn’t a job you can do half-heartedly or amid distraction.
So we leave our spouses alone and charge them with most if not all of the home duties. They don’t wear a uniform. Most civilians don’t understand the sacrifices a military spouse makes on a daily basis. I would like to take today, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, as an opportunity to thank my spouse.
Adrienne wakes every morning knowing this could be the day I get called away. She knows that every day could be the last day of the kind of life that she has come to know and cherish. She has wrestled with the solemn and scary parts of my job and has been forced to prepare for what would happen if I was killed in the line of duty. She knows my commitment is not one that is taken lightly. It’s time for others to recognize her commitment as a military spouse is similarly profound.
Adrienne, I want you to know that I respect your commitment and dedication. I know it’s not easy, and I know you do not have to do it. But you do, and you do it with a smile and a supportive stance that is greatly appreciated. I know that learning about life in the Army wasn’t easy for you, and I know you don’t always understand how and why things are done the Army way, but your patience and flexibility empowers me. I admire and respect your compassion and your selflessness. You sacrifice just as I do when duty calls, and you share in my frustrations as they inevitably arise. I do not envy you in the task of dealing with my demanding employer. The Army so often demands to come first in our lives.
Adrienne I love you, as much for how you feel about me as for what you do for me. But I may love you most for what you are and what you mean to me. You give me the strength so that I can do my duty.
Sergeant Bradley Smith
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