Military spouses don’t always get the credit they deserve for supporting their service members.
That’s why each year, they get an entire day in their honor: Military Spouse Appreciation Day. This year, the observance is May 12 and is always the Friday before Mother’s Day. It’s a day to take a pause and give thanks to those military spouses who support our troops.
Have a military spouse you love and adore?
This blog covers exactly why military spouses deserve recognition. Plus, you’ll find fun and easy ways to honor military spouses on this day.
Read on to learn more!
Military Spouse Appreciation Day: A Brief History
The origins of Military Spouse Appreciation Day came from the federal government to recognize the importance of military spouse roles. Back in 1984, President Ronald Reagan first declared May 23 as Military Spouse Day in Proclamation 5184.
Its observance dates changed when U.S. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger declared the Friday before Mother’s Day as the long-standing Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
Then, in 1999, Congress merged the observance into National Military Appreciation Month, according to the Defense Logistics Agency website.
The overall aim of the day is to recognize the personal and professional sacrifices a military spouse makes to ensure the success of their service member.
Why Military Spouses Deserve Recognition
While some military spouses may shrug and say, “This is the life I chose” when someone balks at all they do, it’s true that those folks still deserve recognition. While it may seem just like a regular life to them, it is remarkable considering all that military spouses do and experience.
Even with a list a mile long, it still wouldn’t begin to cover all the reasons military spouses deserve a day — and then some — of being honored.
Here’s a try, though:
Resilience is Their Middle Name
Military spouses are made of tough stuff. There’s something to be said for having to move at what feels like a moment’s notice, packing, and moving boxes (often alone), and getting resituated in a new town, city, and life every few years. Living the military spouse life isn’t for the faint of heart. Recovering quickly becomes a super skill and superpower for milspouses.
The Backbone of Our Nation’s Finest
There’s no doubt about it that military spouses offer a huge amount of support to their service members. Those vows of “through thick and thin” certainly get tested for military spouses. While military spouses may not directly serve, they often put their heart into supporting their service members. They serve as morale boosters and cheerleaders who provide strength to military members who have one of the toughest jobs on earth.
Social Butterfly is a Way of Life
As an adult, it can be tough to make new friends; add in a move every few years, and it’s even more challenging. Military spouses have to make new friends — often. It’s one of the best and worst aspects of military life. Just when you’ve found a friend you click with, it’s either you or them who has to move. It takes a lot of courage to get up and just go out and make friends over and over again. Somehow, milspouses know this and do it. It often feels more natural after you’ve made your fifth military spouse BFF in a two-year span.
Helpful in a Pinch
Milspouses are well-known for helping out in military communities and supporting their military friends. Whether someone needs a stand-in babysitter or help to throw a baby shower or anything in-between, we can appreciate military spouses’ ability to help at any time. When you’re far removed from your own family, you learn how to support and lean on the military spouse community rather quickly.
Home is Wherever They Land
No one can make a place home faster than a military spouse. Whether it’s base housing or a brand-new home, a milspouse is an expert at making their service member and family feel a new duty station is home-like.
How to Celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day
There are endless ways to honor that special milspouse in your life. Whether it’s your own spouse, a fellow milspouse, or your best friend, the greatest way to celebrate their role is to do something they would appreciate.
Some ways to do it:
- Go to a local restaurant – One of the perks of moving to different duty stations is exploring the local fare. Take your spouse out to their favorite restaurant or surprise them with reservations at the local hotspot.
- Hire a babysitter – Whether it’s for a date night out, a girls’ night out, or just for a spouse to get a day to themselves, give them a break from the kids. They’ll love it.
- Gift basket of local items – Most commissaries have a special section with goods that are from the local area. Think jams, bread, wines, shirts, etc. Stock a basket full of local goodies from the area to commemorate the spouse’s time there.
- Home delivery food service – Know a spouse who is about to be alone thanks to a deployment? Get them a meal delivery service. This is especially helpful for spouses taking care of a household with kiddos. It’s one less decision they’ll need to make and they’ll love not having to meal plan for at least one night a week!
- A fully-stocked toolbox – Give this to a milspouse with a sense of humor. Because they will become a Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It for all the things that go wrong while their service member is away. Or, on the positive side, it can be used to help hang all the decor in a new duty station home. A good toolbox is a must-have!
- Have a night in – Sometimes, just a night in with their service member is all that’s needed. Turn off your cell phones and focus on each other. Grab some takeout and cuddle up to watch a favorite movie together. Quality time is priceless.
Above all, remind the military spouse in your life that their dedication, support, and love don’t go unnoticed. It can be challenging sometimes to be in the background more often than not. Make the day about them and you can’t go wrong!
Thank You to Military Spouses Everywhere
Here at Sandboxx, we have the utmost respect and admiration for our military spouses. Thank you for your loyalty and for keeping the home fires burning while your service member is away.
It isn’t an easy job by any means. We know that.
May you feel the love and appreciation you deserve this Military Spouse Appreciation Day! Take the time for yourself to unwind, relax, and reflect on how your encouragement keeps your military member going.
They couldn’t do it without you.