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The Greatest Gift of Being a Military Spouse

It’s hard to know where to begin when counting my blessings as a military spouse.

 

If I had to choose, I would start with community.

 

Whether it’s community right outside your front door or community thousands of miles away, as a military spouse, you always have community.

There are countless others going through similar moments, feelings similar “feels”, thinking similar thoughts.

Even on the days you feel like you are the only one in the world, I promise you, there is a community there, ready and waiting to help pick you up and brush off the dust to get through whatever “it” is (this time) together.

I’ve had community that was literally there to catch me when I fell, as well as community that was there to pick up the phone no matter the time when I was in a place that my local community really was a lack thereof.

Community is what you make it. If you choose to build it well and nurture it, you will always feel its presence.

 

Second, I would have to say, as a military spouse, our family has the gift of security.

 

Yes, there are the quite frequent threats of government shutdowns and the uncertainty of when your hero will and won’t be home as well as the possibility of career-changing injuries looming in the distance.

However, in the end, we have a level of security that many civilians have never experienced in their lives. We know, unless something drastic and unforeseen happens, our hero is gainfully employed.

And when that income isn’t enough, there are systems in place to help cover expenses. Especially those that are vital for them to continue showing up.

I admit, this gift is sometimes hard to see or acknowledge.

Yet if we really lean into all the chances afforded to military families, we can feel the stability.

 

I have been gifted with an education I never thought possible as a military spouse.

 

Yes, my hero transferred some GI funding to me, however, I have only had to use a minor portion of that because of all of the scholarships I was awarded as a military spouse.

The thing is, these scholarships are just sitting there, hoping someone will apply for them. More often than not, MilSpouse scholarships are under-applied for, leading to those that do apply having a guaranteed scholarship.

They sometimes end up with a larger award than was originally granted due to the lack of applications and the organization’s financial obligations. 

 

I think the last, and best, gift of being a military spouse is opportunities like this.

 

There are so many ways for us to reach out and share our voices with other military spouses. Yes, most of them are unpaid.

However, the impact that can be made on another military spouse who is touched by your experience is priceless.

We often don’t realize that all a fellow military spouse might need, in any given moment, is to know they truly are not alone by learning of another MilSpouse’s story. 

I have been invited to participate at events in places I would never have dreamed simply because I had the title of Military Spouse.

Whether your gift of the title of “Military Spouse” is freshly unwrapped, weathered and worn, yet still precious and cherished, or has been retired to a shelf as a fond memory, the gift of being a military spouse is a singular experience filled with new gifts to discover if you only keep your eyes open.

 

 

*To read more of Manda’s posts, check out her M:M Author page or reach out to her at her The Healitary Spouse.

 

Author

  • Manda Lynn McVey

    Manda Lynn McVey met her husband when they were 12 years old. After graduating high school and leading very separate lives, they found their way back around to each other bringing her into the military community as a late-career spouse. They have one daughter together and she has two amazing bonus kids. During her almost seven years as a military spouse, Manda Lynn has been named Armed Forces Insurance’s 2022 Fort Polk Spouse of the Year and become a Spouse Master Resilience Trainer, Army Family Team Building Instructor, Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner, Behaviour Change Specialist, Fitness Nutrition Educator, and Yoga & Meditation Instructor with over 3,700 volunteer hours under her belt leading military spouses to reconnect with their intuition to achieve overall wellness and resilience through a variety of modalities. She coaches military spouses and significant others to build resilience and wellness with a focus on community building, readiness, nutrition, and mindfulness as well as “gaining by giving” to help them feel more included in their communities, on and off installations, so they may build solid foundations to reclaim their health and resilience. An extremely resourceful person, Manda Lynn finds joy in sharing resources and knowledge with fellow military spouses and the community off-installation. Bringing resilience, wellness, and resources to the military and first responder community is something that comes to her naturally. Turning it into her full-time job has been a dream come true.

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