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The Gift of Personal Growth

A common joke among the military community goes something like this “if Uncle Sam wanted servicemembers to have a spouse, they would have been issued one.”


Can you even imagine what their recruiting efforts for military spouses would look like?


In particular, can you picture in your mind the recruiting commercial? All of the branches have them, I am sure spouses would too. 

In the commercial you would probably see moving boxes, tearful goodbyes, lots of solo parenting, some travel, strong friendships, definitely some patriotic décor and hopefully a happy homecoming.


The military does not have much to offer in terms of circumstances, their common focus in commercials is your potential.


The Navy summed it up well “it is not where the sea takes you, but who it makes you” or the Army’s ever popular “be all you can be”.

The only promise they could make to military spouses would be an opportunity for growth.


My first introduction to military spouses was my aunt.


I remember being little & always looking at her wedding pictures; she looked like princess marrying a knight. As I got older, I admired her strong sense of self, hilarious storytelling, her courage and tenacity.

During college, I had the pleasure of meeting more military spouses. Each one impressed me with their selflessness, friendship, resilience and kindness. The more spouses I met the more these character traits felt like a pattern.


Although I had many doubts as the whether I wanted to live the military lifestyle, I knew I wanted to be like these strong women.


Fast-forward many years, this has still been my experience meeting and walking alongside other military spouses. The unique challenges of military life take you on an unavoidable journey of self-discovery.

Every obstacle that military life throws your way & every wrench is throws in your plans is an often unwanted and uncomfortable chance for growth.

Your overwhelming PCS to do list is going to let you practice your organization, navigation, research and real estate skills, weight lifting and travel planning.


Military spouses accomplish amazing tasks and the gift you get in return is a better you.


You might face lonely days, but it’ll shape into a great friend. You might lack support, but it’ll show you the importance of service.

You might end up in a new culture, but it’ll make you adventurous. You might be far from loved ones but it’ll make you a great communicator.

You might feel like you’re climbing a mountain put in your path by the military but it’s worth climbing. 

The military demands constant growth and character development from service members. The challenges we face as military spouses ensures that we do not stay stagnant, we grow alongside our spouses. 


The Air Force recruiting commercial nails it on the head “All we need is the best of you”.


I hope at the end of this journey I will look back at all the obstacles, wrenches, mountains feeling confident that I became the best of me.

Wouldn’t that be the only gift that would be worth being a military spouse?


Meet Army Spouse, Chelsey Thomas

Meet Chelsey Thomas! Chelsey has been a military spouse for 7 years although she and her husband have been together for 9 years. They now have two cute boys who love being outdoors just as much as they do.

Chelsey and her family love traveling together and most recently went to New Zealand. Her hobby is using credit card points to travel for free and teaching other military families how they can too.

They’ve had 3 PCS’s and 3 deployments. This year will be a tiebreaker for their family.  Chelsey also loves volunteering with United thru Reading, a wonderful program the connects separated servicemembers to their families by reading book virtually.

Her family loves to read together and listen to audiobooks.




*For more posts from our Finalists, click HERE!




  • M:M Command Team

    With over 159 years of military spouse experience and 68 PCSes under their belts, the M:M Command team is the ultimate Battle Buddy to help navigate Milspouse life. Powered by volunteer spirit and optimism the M:M Command Team could run a small country, but instead are dedicated entirely to the global empowerment of military spouses to help them conquer adversity, foster confidence, and thrive in this military life.


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