Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day.
I haven't checked, but I don't think there are any appropriate e-cards at Hallmark's website. Perhaps I'll make my own. Here are some women I know who deserve more than a bouquet of roses:
Amber, whose son Anthony will be making his First Holy Communion this Sunday with Fritz. Her husband will miss it, since he's in Iraq. She's arranged for a babysitter for her 3 year old son who has difficulty sitting through Mass. She has no other family coming to the ceremony, so she and Anthony will sit alone in their pew. When Anthony was an infant, she was confirmed at the Easter Vigil Mass. Her husband was deployed then, too, so she and Anthony (in a baby carrier) were by themselves for that as well.
Stacy, whose husband is in Afghanistan. She lives here in Virginia, but her husband's troop is based in Tennessee. She's trying to run the Family Readiness Group from 800 miles away - caring for the families of the deployed spouses while also trying to manage her own household of three boys ages 10, 2, and 8 months.
Michelle, whose husband is doing a language-immersion program in Thailand. He'll be back in 7 weeks, but then their entire family will move there for a tour. She's running the girls to soccer practice and games while chasing a toddler and counting the days until he returns.
Stacey, who battles depression but still manages her household of three little children while her husband is away on frequent TDY trips (TDY means "out-of-town on business" for those of you not in the know....unlike most of the civilian world, "out-of-town on business" could be for weeks at a time).
Lynne, who is looking forward to her husband's R&R which is coming up in a month. Of course, 2 weeks later, he'll have to go back to Iraq. She's trying to maintain a positive outlook on life while helping her 2 young sons cope with the stress of their father's deployment. The older boy, in first grade, is in counseling for depression.
These are just a few of the strong women I know who are making a different sort of sacrifice for their country. The military realizes that without spouses like these, the ranks would thin out quickly. But even the soldiers often don't realize the sacrifices being made by their spouses, since part of making the sacrifice is putting on a brave face so that the soldier won't worry about the family while (s)he's off defending freedom.
But I'm on those front lines, too, so I see and know who deserves some Bronze Stars or better. But please don't cluck-cluck and offer sympathy. We need cheers and praise and encouragement and thanks. Today's battle may be won, but there will be another tomorrow.