The Friday before Mother’s Day is Military Spouse Appreciation Day, thereby making May the month to recognize the contributions made by military spouses to the military mission. Since 1984, the armed forces have set aside the special day to acknowledge the significant contributions of spouses.
Anyone would agree that the life of a military family brings special challenges to family and marital relations. Sacrifice, change and stress are often a given. Those same challenges can equally make a family or couple well-rounded, culturally aware, tolerant and extremely resilient.
It’s also important to acknowledge the success of military missions often depend on what’s going on at home and how a servicemember feels about it. Technology makes it easier to stay connected and can also bring to the forefront the concerns of a servicemember or family member about what’s happening at home. Remember to be patient with one another and don’t sweat the small stuff. (And often, isn’t it all small stuff, as the book of the same name states?)
Strong families recognize the importance of affection. Express that love and take time to thank your spouse for a job well done!
Other fun and simple ways to say “thanks”:
· If your spouse’s hips and health can stand it, chocolate candies or an oversized chocolate candy bar says, “This is how I’m feeling about you.”
· A pearl charm (string a big pearl bead on a string) reflects that your spouse is a “pearl beyond price!”
· Put a picture of your spouse on the refrigerator or in a prominent place in a special frame that says, “World’s Best …”
· Make promissory notes in the form of coupons for special favors your spouse can cash in show you care.
· Send a card for no reason. Better yet, make a card!
· Talk to the people you care about and practice your listening skills so they feel understood.
· Celebrate an “Appreciation Day for (loved one).” Make it all about that person for 24 hours.
· Massages, loving touches, hugs and kisses say it all.
Other resources for military families:
• Get answers about the latest military news, benefits and other military-related issues at http://www.military.com.
• Find military-friendly businesses near military installations at
• Free, private and always available, Military OneSource offers advice on financial or family matters, deployment support, resources and more at http://www.militaryonesource.com.
• Discounts, resources, and a Yahoo! support group are among the services available at http://www.4militaryfamilies.com.
• The Joint Family Support Assistance Program based in the CONG Family Programs Office in Centennial, Colo., has a Military OneSource consultant, family and youth counselors (No records kept!), an American Red Cross representative and Operation: Military Kids representative on staff. Call the family programs office at (720) 250-1184 for a referral.