Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day!
Usually I find it strange when people find out Bill is a Marine and they thank ME…
It’s weird, right?
Because I never went through a long deployment with Bill, I’m NOT the person to thank!
Having never served, I didn’t have to endure boot camp, 4 am wake up calls for PT, and dealing with command. I never had to go overseas and sleep in a tent, go days being shot at, worrying about roadside bombs, sent home a body of a deceased team member….. I was home, in the comfort of the United States, in a job of my choice, where I was always relatively safe.
There are, however, the long days of post active-duty responsibilities ranging from fighting with the VA (my personal favorite) to dealing with the side effects of PTSD. This week alone we went through a bad episode which involved me crying, hurt, upset, and scared. He doesn’t remember all of it…. I thought for sure it was over and I was going to be on my own with the kids.
I’m grateful I never had to give birth while he was in another country. I’m grateful I didn’t go months on end without seeing him. I never had to live on a base (we lived right near the base…actually right under the flight line, but that’s another post!)
I feel like when people say “thank you” or we are appreciated as a military spouse, it’s because of all those things active duty spouses have to deal with on a daily basis. What people don’t see is what happens after.
I was only a part of the active duty life for such a short time, I feel like I don’t deserve the “thank you.” What I do deserve it to have the VA treat my husband and family with respect. I deserve to not spend hours on the phone to get an appointment for NOVEMBER for him, when it’s still May (that happened this week). I deserve to get him his benefits without fighting tooth and nail AFTER I discover what is owed to him…because they sure as hell don’t make it clear what he is eligible for!
I deserve to not worry about the side-effects of PTSD/TBI…but these are the things people forget the military spouse deals with.
So on this day when everyone is thinking about the spouses who dealt with moving 100 times, or long deployments, I want to send a shout out to all of the Military Spouses who are left with the aftermath….. The PTSD/TBI issues, the VA fight, the war at home.
You are not alone.
You are loved.
You are enough…and one day a year does no justice to the battle we endure long after the active-duty war!
Be well 🙂