The Red, White, and You.


I don’t know about you, but there is something special about the National Anthem that just gets to me. I’m talking full on sob, ugly cry emotions. It’s the immense feeling of absolute pride and belonging that overcomes me. The knowing that we are directly connected to the very last line “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” It’s one of my worth-it moments every time I hear it played.

I know what you’re thinking, “She’s clearly drank the military spouse Kool-Aid.”

And you might be right. I believe there is so much about being a military spouse that is good and worth being proud about! But I will let you in on a little secret: I’m not always so all in about this military lifestyle.

As military spouses, we bear the brunt of the mental load, managing calendars, planning and executing, and the not-expected-but-totally-feels-expected volunteering. There are many responsibilities we shoulder simply for taking on the title of spouse. Not everyone subscribes to that kind of thinking, but that’s ok. Every military family is different.

But for the majority of us, we really are doing it all. We work, whether outside the home or from home (including you, stay-at-home-moms, which I count myself among). We hold down the fort. Navigate moves, career changes, and put on brave faces as we time and time again become the new person at another installation. We do whatever it takes to support our spouse’s career on top of everything else.

I would even venture to say that it often feels like this lifestyle holds a strong amount of “this is miserable” with just a tiny bit of “this is why we do this”.

It’s so easy to get caught up in loneliness, difficult times, and the murphy-law moments that make us cry. There are times we feel isolated and phases where we don’t know how we made it through the days, weeks, and months.

But this is your reminder to remember what keeps us going. The worth-it moments.

  • The promotion ceremonies.
  • The new duty stations that give to adventures and fresh starts.
  • When your spouse is recognized for their hard work.
  • When YOU get recognized for your hard work and sacrifice.
  • When your local sports team hosts military night and you get into the event for free.
  • Seeing your spouse perform their craft and the feeling of pride you get knowing that’s your spouse!
  • The first hug at homecoming after a deployment.
  • The moment they come home from the field (followed quickly by shoving them in the shower and their uniform in the wash).
  • When you volunteer at an on-post event and it’s a success.
  • The 4th of July when the National Anthem plays and your heart (and eyes) swell with pride.
  • The zero-dollar hospital bill when you receive care.

But the one thing that truly makes this lifestyle worth it is the military community. This group, which you are a part, is like none other. They experience the ups and downs right there with you. Shoulder to shoulder, they try to help lessen your burden. They willingly watch your children in a pinch. Laugh and cry with you, often times crying with you until you laugh, or perhaps laughing with you until you cry. They are your very own battle buddies who text you asking if you are holding it together, knowing you aren’t, and follow up with the invite for food and a shoulder to lean on. Together, military spouses really are an exceptional group of people.

And you, you are a part of this community. You are that person for someone, whether at your current duty station or someone you have met along your journey. Someone considers you a dear friend and an essential person to their success. You are somebodies worth it in this military lifestyle. You’re part of the bigger picture.

So if ever you get lonely, sad, or discouraged, because it does get hard, don’t forget the worth its.

The home of the brave. The red, white, and you.