By Carla Olivo, USMC Spouse
Shared experiences make the military spouse community a tight one. Additionally, it’s a small community and its’ members are as varied as the active duty community. According to the most recent Department of Defense (DoD) data, there are 641,639 spouses of active duty service members. Thirteen percent of those spouses also serve in the military making them dual-military families. Military Spouse Magazine reports nearly 15% of military spouses are male, a percentage which rises every year.
Thirty years ago, military wives were discouraged from joining the workforce. The thinking at the time was that for a spouse to be able to truly support her husband, she needed to be at home. Some spouses were also expected to lead and support fellow mil-spouses in their husband’s unit or squadron. However, if they did work, they filled mainly school teacher or administrative roles. Wives were discouraged from pursuing professional careers on their own. We’ve come a long way baby!
Fast forward to today where mil-spouses work in many different professions. They are often encouraged by their Active Duty spouses to climb the career ladder. Additionally, a growing number of spouses become entrepreneurs and start businesses move with them. And many spouses choose to stay at home to be a full-time Mom or Dad.
MILITARY SPOUSE APPRECIATION DAY 2019
Thirty-five years ago, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation designating the Friday before Mother’s Day as Military Spouse Appreciation Day. This year it falls on Friday, May 10. It is a day set aside to recognize “the profound importance of spouse commitment to the readiness and well-being of service members on active duty and the National Guard and Reserve, and to the security of our Nation.”
Let’s CELEBRATE Military Spouse Appreciation Day!
Many military installations will host special events to mark Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Check with your local post or base. Here are our suggestions to celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day 2019.
Take A Spa Day
Grab a few mil-spouse friends and spend the day pampering yourselves! A body massage, a facial, or a mani-pedi are a great way to treat yourself. It will also relax you in preparation for Mother’s Day!
See A Movie
Grab a few friends and head to a matinee! If your fellow mil-spouses are all women, pick a chick flick that none of your husbands will want to see.
Host A Cookout
Anytime I don’t have to cook, it is a treat for me! Invite a few military families over and let the service members do the grilling. Pick up side dishes at your favorite restaurants and take the evening off from the kitchen!
Enjoy HAPPY HOUR
Meet a few mil-spouse friends and enjoy appetizers and drinks during Happy Hour at your favorite watering hole. Toast yourselves and celebrate all those military moves, deployments, and single parenting wins you’ve had as a mil-spouse!
Cheers to You!
Military spouses are a special group that bears the burden of holding a military family together during all the ups and downs of military life. I am so proud to walk among you.
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Carla Olivo has been a military spouse for two decades. She has reinvented herself several times during that time period and has held a variety of titles – TV News Reporter, News Bureau Chief, War Correspondent, Special Event Planner, Community Relations Officer, Speech Writer, and perhaps her most favorite title – Mom.