If I am being completely honest, I remember sitting there as the Rakkasans came marching in, home from their deployment to Afghanistan in 2002 with my 8 month old and 2 year old, waiting to see their daddy again with tears welling up in my eyes, both from pride and frustration. The community was cheering, the acting base commander was praising the soldiers, and all I can remember thinking was, “Where’s my freakin’ medal?”. Maybe that’s not cool to say out loud, but there it is. I was tired, I was over being anxious, and felt extremely underappreciated.
We’re not too big on “made-up” holidays in my house. Even birthdays are not over the top. I don’t expect flowers on our anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or Sweetest Day. No big deal needs to be made over Mother’s Day or my birthday. BUT, I do expect some kind of acknowledgement on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, and I make sure my husband knows this.
This MilSpouse gig is tough! I support my soldier. I have been a Family Readiness Group Leader, a volunteer at various organizational days, and a practical single parent while he is off doing his thing at war or in the field. I have done it because it is what we signed up for. I love him, I love my country, I love our family, and so does he.
It’s been a long time since those days. I have learned to speak up, learned to take a break when I need it, and my husband has shown me over the years just how much my contributions to our family and his career have meant to him.
We’ve learned that sometimes it is just as important to spend some money as it is to save it. Whether it is a family vacation, a gift of appreciation, or dessert for dinner, a little fun spending can go a long way.
Where does your fun money go? How do you show your appreciation and affection for someone? Knowing which times and moments need acknowledgement are just as valuable as saving for a rainy day.