Lip balm, hand sanitizer and lotion may ring a bell as just a few random hygienic items. But for veteran/military spouse Lori Bell they are like the never-ending weapon supplies on Batman’s utility belt!
When Batman (the old school version) was in a bind, he would say, “If I could just reach for my utility belt transmitter,” or something like that, and the day would be saved. Bell has a secret pouch that makes her Batman to her husband Colonel Kenyan K Bell. What he needs, she can whip out!
After serving in the Air Force for 10 years, Bell now refers to herself as a “professional military spouse.” She takes her supportive role very seriously and wants to constantly show her husband of 18 years that she is paying attention to what he needs. So how did her secret pouch come about?
“We’ve been out at various events; dinners, lunches, ceremonies, meetings, etc. And he’ll always lean over and ask me if I have a ____. I didn’t like not having what he needed when he asked. So I put together a kit just for him that I would carry around with me,” Bell shares.
One of the most interesting things about Bell coming to her husband’s rescue is that he doesn’t even know this kit exists.
“He doesn’t know I have this. He just knows that every time his lips feel dry I seem to be Johnny on the spot with it.”
For Bell, her kit goes beyond moisturizing her husband’s lips. Her gesture goes deeper than just saying ‘I support you’. She is conveying in a practical way that she believes in his success in every way. As long as she has his basic needs covered and taken care of, then he can direct his energy and attention to the goals around him. “In this way, I serve him,” she says.
Because of the importance of her kit, like Batman, Bell always has it on her. The items are small and travel size so it’s something she can keep handy. If they are attending a formal event, she takes the most used and needed items so they can fit into a cute clutch.
Being supportive can get tricky because of how often our circumstances change and evolve. But one thing that stays consistent is that as military spouses we can create fun ways to fill in the cracks for our service members. And we can do this knowing that our acts go far beyond the act itself.
We can take a tip from Bell, who says, “I’ve learned that gestures like this turns on all his masculine sensitivities. Which also means all of him shows up to serve all of the people when it’s required. Ashy lips will not stop the mission.”
Not only are we supportive to our spouses, we also support each other! What tips can you share from your hero utility belt that will be helpful to our military spouse community?