Juggling multiple schedules, figuring out the next career move and fixing a flat tire on the fly without a spouse or family around is all in day’s work for many military spouses.
The awe-inspiring resilience of military spouses was considered something worth celebrating 34 years ago by then U.S. President Ronald Reagan. So now, every year on the Friday before Mother’s Day, the United States celebrates Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
“Since the founding of our Republic, military spouses have served alongside their loved ones and played vital roles in the defense of our country. Their selfless support, volunteer spirit, and significant contributions have left indelible marks on our military and communities. On Military Spouse Day, we pay tribute to these remarkable patriots, past and present, including the incredible women and men who currently serve, in steadfast support of America’s Armed Forces, as our Nation’s military spouses,” said President Donald Trump in today’s official proclamation of Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
The day is widely recognized by Americans. Various military, news and business organizations are sharing their appreciation of military spouses on Twitter.
Similar to our neighbours to the south, the support system behind the men and women in uniform are spouses. Military spouses often put their own ambitions and desires in the backseat for the sake of their serving spouse. As such, military spouses are often faced with various challenges including living far from family and finding suitable employment.
The 2013 Ombudsman of National Defence Report notes that “The overwhelming majority of partners engaged have experienced employment challenges firsthand since becoming military spouses, usually in the form of unemployment or underemployment. Another significant obstacle to spousal employment is the lack of professional opportunities in smaller communities where many CF members are posted.”
Though Canada has not quite caught up with celebrating military spouses the way, our neighbours to the south have, many organizations and government institutions, through the findings of the Ombudsman report, are beginning to realize the importance of providing support to military spouses.
Institutions like the Vanier Institute are making it their mission to provide research on military families to the relevant medical and government organizations.
However, ask any military spouse, and they’ll tell you they don’t want pity, they aren’t victims. Instead, military spouses command respect for the contributions they’ve made to the country.
“As we observe Military Spouse Day, we salute generations of military spouses for their leadership, courage, love, patriotism, and unwavering support for the courageous men and women of our Armed Forces. On this day, Melania and I offer our deepest respect and gratitude to every person who has embraced this noble calling in proud service to our Nation as a military spouse,” stated Trump.