You are a military spouse. 

You’ll meet more people during your spouse’s years of services than you can count. You’ll meet superiors and subordinates. You’ll meet classmates, wingmen, and crew members. You’ll meet new spouses, older spouses, and single military members. You’ll fit in some groups, and you won’t fit in others. Sometimes you’ll be the new one, sometimes you’ll be the most seasoned in the room. You’ll meet people that will forever change your life.

You won’t like everyone you meet, and that’s OK.  

There will be times when you will not know what to do. Your spouse will be overseas, deployed, off at training in the middle of the woods. The washer will break, the dog will break a leg, the whole house will come down with the flu. You’ll live thousands of miles from family. You will have just moved and you won’t have your new tribe.

It will be OK to ask for help. 

The worst will happen. Maybe not to you, but to another spouse. The deployment will feel like it’s never going to end. They’ll go away for training for the eighth time this year on short notice. You’ll have to cancel that family vacation or reschedule big plans. You’ll hope for one thing and the opposite will happen.

It’s OK to cry about it. 

You’ll get orders to Italy only to find out three weeks before your move that they got changed to Texas. You’ll have your heart set on that summer PCS only for it to get moved up to January. His commander will put him on the night shift for three straight months, including weekends. He’ll get sent to the beach for two weeks and do nothing while you shovel snow after being up all night with a sick kid.

It’s OK to be angry. 

You met him or her during senior year of college, long after you received your acceptance letter to grad school and told him or her to wait. Or you met them five years into the new career that you built from the ground up. You’re an aspiring artist, photographer, or writer. You want to be a stay at home parent. You want to home-school your children. Or maybe you want to join that local gym or play Bunco every Thursday.

It’s OK to have your own identity. 

You married them for better or worse. You said you’d go where they go. You knew that wasn’t always going to be to an ideal location. They’ll decide five years into this military thing to go to one of the hardest six-month training courses. You’ll support it, but sometimes there’s a give and a take. You’ll want them to request a certain location, a certain assignment, or even that it’s time to say goodbye to active duty.

It’s OK to have a say in it all. 

You’ll proudly wave your flag, put that sticker on your car, and call yourself a military spouse. You’ll stand taller when you hear the national anthem and it will hit you in the gut when you see a coffin draped in the flag. Your heart will fill with joy as you watch them earn a much-deserved award or achieve a long-awaited accomplishment.

It’s OK to be proud of them. 

You’ll move all over the country, and sometimes the world.  You’ll meet people from all walks of life. You’ll meet people who challenge your perspective and make you a better person. You’ll learn the true meaning of having grit and perseverance.

You’ll be strong.

You’ll be courageous.

You’ll learn to take on any challenge that comes your way.

It’s OK to love this life. 

It’s OK to be a military spouse. 

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Michelle Saksa
Michelle is a native Texan who married her college sweetheart. They have a son, a daughter, and two dogs. Her husband has been in the United States Air Force for 13 years, and they are currently stationed at NAS Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Washington. She is a doctor of occupational therapy and certified hand therapist as well as an adjunct professor at Abilene Christian University. Michelle is an outdoor enthusiast, lover of college football, avid runner, self-proclaimed foodie, and minor league wine connoisseur. She believes that any problem in life can be solved through a good laugh, a good cry, a good sleep, or a good glass of wine.