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