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Ways to Celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day

May is Military Appreciation Month but did you know that Friday, May 6th is Military Spouse Appreciation Day? It is a great opportunity to celebrate all military spouses from all branches!

The Background 

The first Friday in May before Mother’s Day, was first known as Military Spouse Appreciation Day after being recognized by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. Recognitions and celebrations are typically held throughout military communities in the United States and Abroad. 

Why celebrate Military Spouses? 

Military spouses, whether currently supporting their active-duty, guard, or reserve spouse or are one of the estimated 6 million surviving spouses of veterans, are an incredible, diverse and extraordinary group that deserves celebration for their sacrifice to the nation and selfless support of their serving spouse. 

Active Duty Military Spouses will either marry with the knowledge that their spouse will be leaving home for long periods of time, the concept of home will not be constant – and the brick and mortar that make up a home will change shape and size every few years. For those whose spouses enlist after marriage, support their spouse through this dramatic life choice with the understanding that life as they knew will change forever. 

National Guard and Reserve Military Spouses will either marry with the knowledge that their spouse will now be committed one weekend a month and several weeks a year to duty and quickly learn the art of trying to explain why their spouse is not at the soccer game, the family barbecues, and at times the wedding when an RST request cannot be approved. 

Military Spouses are tasked to juggle (without formal training), balance (sometimes without a safety net) and thrive (even when it is difficult to get both legs in the yoga pants each morning). We owe it to them to celebrate them not just one day a year, but every day. Until we get to that point of a daily celebration we wanted to share some ways that you can participate in Military Spouse Appreciation Day! 

Ways to celebrate Military Spouses on May 6th

1. Help raise awareness for the day.

While US Presidents have proclaimed the first Friday in May as Military Spouse Appreciation Day for close to 40 years, we think that we can do more to get the word out. Share a post on social media recognizing the Military Spouses in your life. Let your employer know that it is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Write to your local government officials to let them know to proclaim locally that Friday, May 6th, 2022 is Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

2. Snail Mail.

In times of separation military spouses are known for channeling their creativity in carefully crafted care packages for their spouses. Set a reminder before the month of April is out to curate a letter, card, poster or care package that you can send onto a military spouse in your life. Unsure who to send it to? Look up local spouse’s club organizations or Ladies’ Auxiliaries for the Veterans of Foreign Wars or American Legion and ask for their support in sending snail mail to military spouses in your community.  I do not have this creative gene and the care packages that I often send my husband, (18 year USAR soldier) were pragmatic and contained his requested items – cans of tuna, chef boyardee and peanut butter). Interestingly enough the tuna and peanut butter remain a fixture in his diet every day he is home – chef boyardee is a deployment only delicacy. 

Disclaimer: Creative care packages are not required to be celebrated on Military Spouse Appreciation Day.

3. Call, zoom or record a video message. 

Do not let the day pass without reaching out and personally connecting with the Military Spouses in your circle. There is no greater gift than taking the time out of your day to recognize another.

4. Recognize those spouses’ with a service member currently deployed, on unaccompanied orders, or a TDY.  

At times we may need to feel that it is important to walk around a current time of a service member’s physical separation for the sake of the military spouse’s wellbeing. Maybe just a card, email or phone call on May 6th can really make a difference to a waiting military spouse.

5. Remember and acknowledge the diversity of the day.  

It is estimated that close to 10% of Military Spouses are men. The holiday should reflect the diversity and be recognized only as a Military Spouse appreciation day – not an ARMY Wife, Navy Wife, Military Wife etc.. This is a day for all spouses who proudly and selflessly sacrifice in support of their spouses’ choice to serve our great nation to be celebrated. Remembering and acknowledging this can go a long way to ensuring all spouses are celebrated and appreciated.

Finally, Celebrate YOURSELF!

Are you a military spouse? We hope that you know that you do not ever need permission to celebrate yourself but we also know how difficult it can be in our lifestyle to find and make the time to celebrate you. Use this as your reminder to schedule a pedicure on Friday, May 6th, make the trip to Target to wander aimlessly around the aisles with no plan for as long as you are able, book the brunch, coffee date, yoga class, girls night out or any other meaningful to you way you like to spend time with your friends and loved ones.

When it comes to how YOU want to celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day, there are no rules!

*We want to see how you plan to celebrate Military Spouse Appreciation Day! Share your ideas for this year’s celebration or photos and/or memories from prior year celebrations. 

For more articles that support the  military spouse, check out Ohana Homefront’s Coping Through Deployment

 

Author

  • Ohana Homefront Foundation

    The Ohana Homefront Foundation was founded on Oct. 4, 2021 by military spouses Natalie Ealy and Sarah Otto. Both Natalie and Sarah have been milspouses for more than two decades and have a heart for the military community as a whole. They realized that there is a gap when it comes to mental health awareness and suicide prevention and want to make sure that EVERYONE in the military community is receiving the mental health care they need. The Ohana Homefront Foundation Board of Directors and numerous volunteers are working to bring awareness to help bring an end to suicide within the military community.

1 Comment

  1. Sharita Knobloch

    Yes to ALL THESE THINGS, Corrie! Just last week I did a Milspouse Empowerment Moment about the importance of celebrations, and Milspouse Appreciation Day absolutely falls into that too. Love the idea of snail mail– it’s one of my favorite things. Thanks for sharing this with our followers.

    Reply

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Supporting Our Military Children

Supporting Our Military Children

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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