Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day! Granted, sleeping in our house alone is small potatoes compared to hearing bombs outside your bedroom, but the subtle and not so subtle sacrifices we make at home are important, too. We are the ones left behind managing a life created by and made for a couple. We are maintaining a house and home, which is often a new house with new (and perhaps unfamiliar) responsibilities in a new area. Something is noticeably missing in our daily routines, and we don’t always have a built-in support system – we have to go out and find one or create one. We keep spirits up, keep chaos down, and strive to be that steady rock for our service member, children, and other military families. We deal with “single” lifestyles, but with the under-lying knowledge that the love of our lives is in danger. You don’t have to have children to appreciate the sacrifice, either. Before we had kids, my husband was stationed in Texas, where his deployment schedule was “4 on, 4 off”.  Of course, we all know that “4 off” was really just code for “busy, not deployed”. During his homeport time, my husband spent every 5th night standing watch on the ship, and there were many 1-2 week underway periods and trainings to prepare for the next deployment. We were newly married, and my husband spent less than half of our first two years with his wife. I got a cat to talk to. And discovered wine.

We are “the force behind the force” and proud. Very proud. In addition to our own families, military spouses also take care of each other. “Neighbor” is a pretty broad term when it comes to our community. We are all neighbors, no matter our physical locations. No matter if our own spouse is deployed, or if we have kids, or if we are having a rough time adjusting, every military spouse I know will step right up to help a fellow spouse or family. We ask our friends (of friends, of friends) for advice and help, and share an automatic bond with people living the same lifestyle. We show up with dinner for a stranger, advice for a newcomer, and outreached hand for fellow mil spouses. There is no other community like it.

So from the bottom of our hearts here at Call Dibs, we hope everyone takes a day to recognize the spouses; even if your service member is deployed and you simply treat yourself to dessert and a quiet reflection of “Yes, I am AWESOME!” Because you REALLY are!

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Lydia is a proud Navy spouse of 9 years, and has been with her husband since she was 16. They have 3 children, ages 5, 3, and 2. She earned her BA in Elementary Education, but decided to become a stay-at-home-mom after having children, and has found a new passion for helping military families at Adjacent Applications. A Chicago native, Lydia feels at home on a warm beach with a cup of coffee. Or a tequila sunrise.