In case you missed it, this past Sunday was not only Daylight Savings Time, but also International Women’s Day. So I would like to honor the women of the military. It would have been easy to tell my story, seeing as how I’m a United States Army veteran myself. However, I would like to talk about the service members, veterans, and wives who make sacrifices, overcome adversity, and take incredible strides to serve this great country.
From their first assignment, the military woman is given the tools to endure the rest of their career (this goes for spouses as well, a military spouse is a career all its own). One veteran said that the first assignment “molded me and made me into the person I am today”. The women learn to cope with a hectic, unpredictable schedule. The first assignment gives the wife an extra supporting role, sometimes being a temporary single parent while her partner goes to combat, or to train to fight in combat. The military woman either misses parts of their child’s life, or have to explain why the other parent is not there.
The military woman has to face daunting obstacles. When asked what the hardest thing about the military is, one veteran said, “[the] distance between family (children, husbands, etc.). The physical, emotional, and mental pressure imposed by the military”. Sometimes, the spouse has to battle just for basic needs to be met. One spouse said, “People assume I have no knowledge or experience and am just a spouse”. She goes on to say that she “didn’t marry a for free health care and his paycheck”. So, you must have a great deal of strength to endure stressors and live with people’s unfounded misconceptions.
Despite the obstacles, the military woman is part of a sisterhood. No one understands life as a military woman than other military women. One veteran put it best when she said that this sisterhood “is very important in the military and it is the cornerstone of our survival in the military”. A wife says that with the sisterhood “we end up with great mentors and passing that on is key”.
So thank you to the mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, and friends that are a part of the military. Your sacrifices and contributions in protecting this country are appreciated.