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The Greatest Gift of Being a Military Spouse is Other Military Spouses

spouseMeet our newest blogger Anna Spafford! Anna has been an active-duty spouse for 19 years while her husband has served both in the Air Force, and now in the Space Force. She is the mother to five children, two dogs, and two cats. For her first post, she graciously shared her thoughts on the Greatest Gift of being a Military Spouse.


The greatest gift of being a military spouse is other military spouses.


What all military spouses know is that military life is fraught with many challenges. As military spouses, we learn to roll with the punches or soon enough we may find ourselves overwhelmed by circumstances that are out of our control.

We do not get the luxury of living in destinations of our choice, and often our houses are assigned to us or are ones that barely fit our budget or family size, yet we must create a home for our families.

We are expected to grin and bear it, show resilience, regardless of how hard it is.

We also do not get to choose those who are assigned to the same duty station as we are, but despite differences in personalities or backgrounds, we show up for each other in big ways. 


I remember being thrust into the military life after my husband enlisted in 1999, and when at his first duty station at Travis AFB, I had trouble making friends.


Every time I did, it seemed those people were getting ready to move on. Then, I found my community of spouses. We would meet up for coffee with our kiddos one morning a week.

We took turns hosting a woman’s night in, we called it “Desperate Housewives night”, and we would have treats, coffee, and wine while watching Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy.


We would laugh and talk for hours.


I loved these women even though we came from different backgrounds. Truthfully, no one seemed to mind our differences, all were welcome. We watched each other’s children for appointments.

One time I saw one of the women carrying a wine rack on her back that someone had placed on the curb to give away, I pulled over and helped her carry it and put it in her car. We laughed at her independence and strength.

These women taught me about showing up for people and being community for each other when family is far away. 


Throughout the years, I have seen this same thing replay repeatedly at new assignments.


We find our way into a community, and we make meals, have mom’s nights out, and help each other with tasks.

One time a military wife showed up for me to help me build a cabinet because my husband was away at school.

When my friend’s husband was deployed and she was overwhelmed, our friends and I showed up and cleaned her house from top to bottom.

I have taken part in book clubs, homeschool groups, and many meal trains.

I took my friend’s children when she was pregnant and sick with pneumonia so she could rest and get well.

In my experience, what made the difference is military spouses rolling up their sleeves and building something out of nothing for the purpose of community and caring for one another.

I continue to feel the impact of these military spouses even now as a seasoned spouse, and I hope to pass on this legacy of building community on to the younger generation. 


Editor’s Note: We feel extremely fortunate to have Anna share her experiences and insights with our Mission:Milspouse Community. Welocme to the M:M Experience Blogger Team Anna! Please read her BIO for for information.




  • Anna Spafford

    Anna has been an active-duty spouse for 19 years while her husband has served both in the Air Force, and now in the Space Force. She is the mother to five children, two dogs, and two cats. They are natives of Michigan, but are stationed at Vandenberg SFB, California. They have also been stationed in Texas, Ohio, Colorado, and Kansas. She is an online student at Grand Canyon University and is finishing up her bachelor’s degree in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing. She will graduate in February of 2024. She hopes to use her degree to write important pieces that challenge the status quo and encourage others, especially those who are in the military community. Anna is most passionate about her family and spent many years homeschooling her children before pursuing her own education. She is a Key Spouse and considers herself an advocate for military family issues like EFMP, mental health, and improvements to military family medical care. One way she does this is through volunteering with the Exceptional Families of the Military which she has worked with since May of 2023.


  1. LaVaughn Ricci

    Welcome, Anna! I loved your piece! I feel the same about military spouses I’ve met along the way. Truly, special people who have also impacted me in ways I will never forget. The communities we build with these spouses are so Necessary!

    • Kathleen Palmer

      I wholeheartedly agree. Relationships are the best part of milspouse life


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Supporting Our Military Children

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One thing that has been most important to me, as a military spouse, is figuring out how to best do this life while supporting our children with the changes and difficulties. When my children were very small, there were many times that my husband was away, and I had to parent my children alone.

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