How A Military Spouse Stays Connected, Even When Separated
Behind the Scenes of a Military Spouse
The wives and husbands of servicemen and servicewomen may not see combat nor face deployment. However, these spouse’s face challenges just the same. It is the spouse’s duty to run a household and raise the children alone. This is their priority, all while making sure everything stays as normal as possible.
Because that’s the job. It’s not done for recognition or glory. It’s done because it’s what needs to be done. Still, it’s a job that deserves a deeper look on occasions such as Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 11.
“Uniformed service members take an oath to protect and serve our country,” says Brittany Boccher, who was named Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year on Military Spouse Appreciation Day 2017. “As a military spouse, I didn’t take an oath. Rather, I made a commitment to support my spouse, so he could serve our country.
“Military spouses don’t wear uniforms nor ranks, but we do serve and sacrifice our lives in order to support our loved ones in their duty to serve our great nation.”
Coping with Absence
Brittany, whose husband serves in the Air Force, has been through deployment three times in seven years. She says the ache of separation never gets easier. What helps is the relative refuge of a regimen.
“What does get easier is the planning, the preparation and the schedules,” Brittany says. “We don’t focus on the separation. Rather, we focus on what we want to accomplish during the separation.
“I can attest that a schedule and routine are imperative to sanity of our family during deployment. I stay focused on what we identified to accomplish during deployment, and I find the children are less affected when they are kept busy!”
As spouses focus on what they can accomplish during a separation, communities can do much to support their sacrificing neighbors. Being a single caretaker and a worried spouse can be physically and mentally taxing. Simple gestures, such as offering to babysit for an hour or performing yardwork, would do wonders for a potentially overwhelmed spouse.
Protecting our warriors’ loved ones and homes is a great way for the public to show appreciation to those who protect our freedoms.
While the days may seem long during deployment, the days leading up to departure can be even more tortuous.
“My spouse has said the final days pre-deployment are the most difficult days of his life,” Brittany says. “As a spouse, the emotions arise about six weeks prior to deployment as I anticipate the goodbye.
“Then, in the final days before deployment, I get more detached and once the departure happens, I experience a sense of relief, followed by sadness.”
Sum Total of Service
Sadness is inevitable when a loved one leaves, let alone one who will be serving the nation. Reunions, then, have to be moments of jubilation, right?
For some, being apart for so long leads to awkwardness and dysfunction. How does one explain the things one has seen or experienced while away? On the other hand, how does the one at home explain all of the things that are essential to keep things going in the right direction?
These are the sorts of secret sacrifices of service member families Military Spouse Appreciation Day can bring to light.
Thankfully, many, many reunions are delightful. That’s the case for Brittany.
“The moment I see my spouse for the first time after deployment, I forget about the time and distance that has passed,” she says.
Beyond the jubilation of the reunion, there is the rock-solid bond that forms through shared service. Call it pride.
“I’m proud to be a military spouse, and I’m proud of my husband for his selflessness to serve our great nation,” Brittany says. “As a military spouse, I feel pride in what I’m doing because I understand my role is important in the role of mission readiness.”
WoodmenLife is equally proud of the Bocchers, and we all are eager to celebrate all of our service member families on May 11.