I consider myself a “Jack of Many Trades, Truly, Master of None.” I’m a super volunteer, but as of yet, have not done anything groundbreaking. I fill voids when they need to be filled; support efforts championed by others; and try to be a positive figure in my community. That is my niche, doing and leading as able. This isn’t meant to be self-deprecating. More, an honest look at the awesome, mental prowess surrounding me on a daily basis.
At the Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year awards luncheon, Mrs. Deanie Dempsey, wife of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, said, “For every amazing spouse sitting in this room, there are at least 100 more not here.”
In my head, my inner self was yelling, “True Story!” Through it all, we are strong, powerful, and a real force to be reckoned with.
The spouses in our community are leaders, fighters, and creators. They are strong in the face of adversity many will never know or understand. Yet, when faced with hardships there is always someone toiling to change the picture instead of just staring at it complaining about the colors or medium.
In that MSOY luncheon we had a wealth of game changers: Lawyers from MSJDN working tirelessly to help states offer reciprocity on the bar and fees; the male spouse ensuring that their unique challenges and offerings are recognized and supported effectively on this journey; those leading the charge to help military spouses find sustainable employment opportunities in a life filled with frequent PCSing; spouses helping to guide budding entrepreneurs on the road to success; and those undertaking operational security in a time of extreme uncertainty. This is a substantial view of what we are capable of, yet it was truly a small sampling of the amazing works accomplished by the many.
What blows me away about these men and women in my military spouse family is that their ingenuity was bred from recognizing a need, being turned away time and again, and deciding that this, quite simply, was not an acceptable outcome. This, for me, is what makes military spouses unique. Our “community” is ever changing. One week you are talking to Senator X to help institute a change to education or Tricare, and the next you live in a new state or literally across the world. We’ve got to be flexible, we’ve got to be connected, and we’ve got to work together.
Does simply being a military spouse make one special? Not on it’s own. Challenges are faced by all walks of life, and greatness exists in every community from the spouses of first responders to those of teachers and the gas station attendants to the corporate managers.
It’s the idea that in this community we work to inspire and encourage one another – to lift those around us up – that makes my heart swell with pride. We do face challenges distinctive because of our spouse’s military service, but I expect that each day we will see someone else step up to help the whole rise above!