The reality of being a military mom is nothing like a TV show.
Tammy Munson: A couple of years ago when Lifetime came out with "Army Wives," I thought, "Hey this is pretty cool ... they will show the rest of America what our life is really like!" This was not the case. It was like Desperate Housewives meets JAG.
The show, while highly entertaining, did not portray what being a military wife was like, not to mention getting a lot of military protocols wrong. For example, the General's wife and the Private's wife will not be hanging out together in a bar, and berets are worn correctly. If my husband saluted like the soldiers do in that TV show, his commander would hem him up.
I am a proud Army wife. I love our life. I'll be the first to admit, it is sometimes very hard. We endure a lot of sacrifice for supporting our spouses so they can serve their country. Yes, we do get nice benefits and military discounts, but I guarantee it's not as nice as one might think.
Yes, it is true that we get a military housing allowance and don't have to spend anymore for our health care. I know many non-military people say to me, "Oh, it must be so romantic being married to a soldier." I guess it does have a sort of romanticism to it, but that is not the norm. There are days when my husband has to work 16 hours a day, get up in the middle of the night to attend to one of his soldiers, etc. A soldier in the Army is a soldier 24/7/365!
The worse part of our life is deployments. We don't get the luxury of knowing where our spouse is, how they are doing, and if they are OK or not. I hear all the time from wives whose husbands travel that they know how I feel. On some level, I'm sure that they do know what it is like to be the only parent in the home for a while. Although their husband is safe and sound in a hotel somewhere and will not be shot at, blown up, etc.
Even though we don't wear a uniform, military spouses are expected to serve as well. We serve our fellow military spouses in times of need, participate in the Family Readiness groups, and engage the local military community. We are both mom and dad to our children; we pick up the slack in our homes while our spouse is away, and we make sure that ALL of our soldiers have what they need.
Today, May 8th, is a very special day for military spouses. It is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. Back in 1984, President Ronald Reagan created this special holiday just for us military spouses in recognition of the sacrifice that we make. I think military spouses should be thanked every day, because without our "service" the United States Armed Forces wouldn't be able to do what they do.
So go out and thank a military spouse today, and don't forget that military spouses are not just wives! There are a lot of military husbands out there too, and they deserve thanks just as much!
To acknowledge all that military spouses do each and every day, the momlogic community is running a special contest just for us military moms! Go to the Military Mom group and enter to WIN a $500 makeover by SalonWish.com, a FREE day of babysitting, and a lifetime membership to Sittercity.com!