Military Spouses, Today is NOT Your Day, It is Veterans Day

I was unable to find the original source of this image. I would love to give credit if you know who created it.

I was unable to find the original source of this image. I would love to give credit if you know who created it.

Today, Nov 11, 2013 is Veterans Day.  Not to be confused with Memorial Day, Veterans Day is the day we honor ALL who serve or have served in our great nations armed forces.  Memorial Day is the day we honor the fallen.  It’s a somber day of remembering those who gave it all.  Both days deserve recognition.  Both days are the least we can do as a nation to show our thanks to those who serve.

These amazing men and women serve because they believe it is right.  They believe in what they are doing.  They do it without the need or want of praise.  My husband signed a contract, they all sign a contract, and the price they are willing to pay is up to and including the very breath in their lungs and the blood in their veins.  But my husband doesn’t view that as heroic.  He doesn’t believe he deserves thanks, no hand shakes needed, or day in his honor.  But I do.

The people of this nation live the lives they live, I live the life I live, because of people like my husband.  People working towards the greater good, to protect and honor the freedoms we have that we view as being owed to us, but which were fought for with the blood and tears of generations before us.  It is a debt I will never be able to repay and one that I take seriously.

But I am just a spouse.  I deserve no recognition for the life I lead.  And while you will find that among the spouses in the military community, that is not always a popular opinion to take, I will explain to you why.

I am not going to say this life is always easy.  I do not have the luxury of pretending my husband will live forever.  Goodness knows that stress and pain and trials are something we rarely go without.  But I did not pledge my life to this nation.  I pledged my life to my husband.

I did not marry him with a caveat.  I did not marry him as long as the nation was at peace, as long as he didn’t deploy, as long as things were easy.  I married him.  I married him through thick and thin, no matter what we may face, ‘til death do us part… No matter what age or stage of life that death may come.  I did not marry him because he is a Marine.   I married him because I love him.  Regardless of military service.

There are so many times that we spouses wish someone would just give a little understanding and support in this life.  We often feel misunderstood, but the day to ask for that is not on Memorial Day or Veterans Days.  This nation created a Military Spouse Appreciation Day, which is more than I think we deserve.  But, in a time when we often feel that our spouses are under appreciated, I am offended at the notion that any spouse would attempt to dilute the importance of a day aimed at reminding this nation that we owe a debt of gratitude to those who do not believe they are heroes, but that we know they are.

I have now read an entire article written by a spouse who I greatly admired, and am ashamed.  I am offended that any spouse would dare to say that today, of all days of the year, she deserves to be recognized as a “veteran.”  For shame.

She is NOT a veteran.  I am NOT a veteran.  I am a military spouse by circumstance because I happened to pledge my life, my loyalty and my love to a US Marine.  I am a patriot.  I believe in this nation, but I have a nation to believe in because of a man that I am so proud, but more so HONORED, to be married to.

I am disappointed to see so many spouses sharing on social media that family members of service members should be being thanked today.  Today is NOT our day.  Today is the day to honor those who keep our nation safe, guard our freedoms, and do more for us than we can ever repay.

Today, my husband told me that he feels he has gotten so much more from serving than he has ever given to our nation.  He said he doesn’t feel he needs free lunches or free coffee, because that is not why he does what he does.  So the least we can do as a nation is spend a day or two a year remembering, honoring, and thanking those who serve, even if they don’t feel it’s necessary.  We need to remember as a nation what affords us the life we live, and it’s a price paid by a few rough and steady men and women, who guard our freedoms with their lives and all that they hold sacred.

The thanks they deserve is unequivocal.  And the meaning behind this day should not be allowed to be diluted by those who feel they have given more than they have.

This life may not be easy, it may be stressful and sometimes painful, but I did not pledge my life to our nation, I pledge it to my husband.  And that deserves no thanks, no recognition, and nothing more than his love in return.

Honor our nations veterans this Veterans Day.  Honor the fallen on Memorial Day and remember those who have pledged their lives to this great country.  Do not dilute that thanks by demanding thanks on a day that is not yours.

 

To read the original article please visit this link: Are Military Spouses Veterans Too? published on military.com

About A Girl

A Girl is a 20 something blogger who began blogging in 2008 as a means of coping with a deployment. She is a Veterinary Technician by trade and loves her work in Emergency and Critical Care. She is married to a 11 year veteran of the USMC reserves, whom she meet shortly after he returned from a deployment. They have been married for four years, have three, very bratty dogs, and are currently trying to muddle through the aftermath of a difficult deployment for both.

31 thoughts on “Military Spouses, Today is NOT Your Day, It is Veterans Day

  1. Well, my oh my. Finally, somebody with some sense! I love this. I love everything thing about it. Based on this….you and I could be friends, good friends. Big hugs and kisses for this post! Love it!

  2. I’m clapping in agreement! People have told me thanks before and I’ve flat out told them that I don’t do anything, he does it all. I’m just married to him. Sure, this life isn’t easy, but what life is? What kills me the most, is that other well known military spouses (I can think of others besides this author) have written similar things about what they deserve. That gives other spouses the wrong idea. They should be setting the example.
    Kara recently posted…Bloody Mary’s Count As A Salad Link-UpMy Profile

  3. I guess I never thought about this much until I saw your post and read the original post. I’ve been a military spouse for 5 years now and never once thought of myself as a Veteran of anything. I just do what I can to support my husband, who loves the Army so much that he will keep renewing his contract until he ages out. I really don’t understand some groups in the MilSpouse community who feel the need to advertise that they are owed something simply because they are married to a service member. I don’t feel like I’m owed anything by anyone else, except maybe a start date for my husband’s next deployment from the Army :) I was thanked once yesterday by my husband’s cousin, who is active Navy who posted on Facebook (and tagged all the military spouses in his extended family) his thanks to the spouses that support them and allow them to do what they love with the military. It was an unexpected thanks, but one that was not thrown in everyone’s faces simply because we are married to a service member. If someone thanks me during these days for supporting my husband and his military career, then I’m fine with that. However, I don’t expect anyone to recognize me on Veteran’s day. I have a happy little 3 year old who thanks me every day just for being his mommy!
    Amanda recently posted…1st Time at the DentistMy Profile

  4. I appreciate this post so much. As the wife of a retired military man, I so agree it’s not about us…it’s about those who truly served. We spent Veterans day going from one wonderful Vets day program to another, ending up at Applebee’s for a free meal for husband. I couldn’t be more proud of him. Thanks so much for sharing this. I appreciate the other MIL wives comments too. Great!!
    The Better Baker recently posted…Amazing Crockpot Caramel Sweet RollsMy Profile

    • I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I feel frustrated sometimes seeing so many military spouses acting like something is owed to us. I’m glad to see that not everyone feels that way.

  5. I just don’t get the point of this…but I do on the other hand. any press is good press right..but still. I don’t know what makes me more mad..her, the fact that not only is she being antagonistic but she’s typing this as actually how she feels, or that Military.com chose to post it…ON VETERANS DAY
    sigh
    good rebuttal my friend
    Rheanna recently posted…Sunday Social, Week 72My Profile

  6. I agree with you wholeheartedly, and yet… I am a Vet and now a MilSpouse. Today, DH and I went to have lunch and because the restaurant was so busy were asked if we would be willing to sit with other willing Vets. We agreed. We ended up sitting with a retired Col who served in the Korean War and his wife. Now, normally, I would tell the Spouse thank you for remaining committed throughout the Members service, but this incredible Lady was “serving” well past his retirement to take care of him. (He is blind and handicapped.) After meeting her today, and hearing their war stories, I now do believe that there are some MilSpouses who might also fit the title of Veteran. However, like you, I am ashamed of the MilSpouses who strive to gain recognition for being married to a Service Member. Puts a real sour taste in my mouth.
    Christina @ A God-blessed Life recently posted…Why I Joined the “Say Yes To Less” CampaignMy Profile

    • I love your perspective as a Vet and a mil spouse. I think in some ways, mil spouses definitely sacrifice a lot, but I also feel that my husband is the hero, definitely not me.

      Thanks for giving your perspective as someone who’s been on both sides.

  7. Mhmm. But it follows the same sentiment in America that everyone should be given something for free. On top of that are the spouses that want to wear their serviceman’s rank or think they deserve a medal for supporting them. If marrying your soldier was a burden to great to bear, you should not have married them, because this life is thankless and should really be because we are not the ones facing the prospect of losing our lives on the daily. You want to thank us for being strong and supportive, great, but don’t thank us for serving because like you said, our blood and our breath are not on the line on the home front.
    Lauren @ Going Green: Our Army Adventure recently posted…Let’s Hear it for the Vets!! + Thankful Project {Day 11}My Profile

    • Goodness! EXACTLY! I married my husband because I love him, he just happens to also be a Marine. That’s our life and it’s not something that makes me more deserving of anything.

  8. I 100% agree. I’m a military spouse and I do not deserve to be called a veteran for that. I have been a reservist for four and a half years. However, I wouldn’t call myself a veteran for that, either. I haven’t been called to serve in a war, or on a carrier, or anywhere other than my one weekend a month, two weeks a year (plus a bunch of active duty weeks that I CHOSE to do).

    Those who do this job day in and day out deserve our thanks. We support our spouses because we love them and chose to give our lives to them… not because we chose to give our lives to our country.
    Wife of a Sailor recently posted…Stimmy, Stimmy!My Profile

    • Thank you so much for sharing your perspective as someone who is both a military spouse and service member!

      And I love what you said, “we support our spouse because we love them and chose to give our lives to them.” Exactly. So perfect.

  9. I don’t think there is anything I disagree with here. I have actually been thanked today. But it’s not my day. It’s my husband’s and my friends’ who serve(d). Thanks and recognition is a kind gesture, that is appreciated by me, but I in no way feel entitled to it. I think that is the main issue, entitlement. We as civilian spouses who do not nor ever have served are not ENTITLED to anything. I think that is something that has been forgotten by too many.
    Dawn recently posted…Vegetable Soup RecipeMy Profile

  10. I agree. Today has nothing to do with spouses. The men and women who signed up to give their lives in service to our country deserve this day. I was surprised to learn there is a military spouse appreciation day, the fact that one exists is more than enough and it does not need to be a federal holiday for it to have meaning. The spouses of firefighters, police, contractors and more who have spouses in just as much danger do not have that. Today is for veterans and that is it. Period. I’m thankful for them everyday. As a spouse I see firsthand what they sacrifice, I married into this life by choice and if anything I am more humbled and proud than anything else. Entitlement does not look good on anyone.
    Allie recently posted…Veterans DayMy Profile

    • I agree! There are plenty of people who have dangerous jobs that take them away from their families. We are not alone in that situation. And entitlement looks go on NO ONE

  11. Amen! I couldn’t agree more and I think you shared your thoughts in a straightforward and respectful way. Hope your husband has a good Veterans Day!

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