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NEWS | May 8, 2020

Military Spouse Appreciation Day: A salute to their sacrifices

By Hazel L. Wong JBSA-Lackland Military & Family Readiness Center Community Readiness Consultant

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan established Military Spouse Appreciation Day with Proclamation 5184, recognizing the countless sacrifices and contributions made by military spouses since the days of the Continental Army.

In 1999, Congress officially made Military Spouse Appreciation Day part of National Military Appreciation Month to recognize the many sacrifices a military spouse makes, as they put their personal and professional aspirations aside for their service member.

This year, Military Spouse Appreciation Day is observed May 8 and we honor their commitment and support in helping to keep our country safe. They’re the silent heroes and they serve our country, just like their loved ones.

“My wife, Janet, is amazing,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Ian Harris, from the Roger D. Gaylor NCO Academy at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. “She is definitely our family pillar and my endless love. I appreciate her so much for all her sacrifices, her impact in the JBSA community, and her unconditional love.”

Military Spouses take on different roles like teacher, financial planner, culinary specialist, and much more. Many sacrifice their own career in order to keep their family unit together. They fill critical job roles in the government, hospitals, and in their local communities. Some volunteer as coaches, in local schools/churches, as Key Spouses, in base services, and in peer support roles.

America’s military spouses are the backbone of the families who support our armed forces during the mission, deployment, reintegration and reset.

The role of the military spouse can be very challenging, as they relocate the family and attend military events when called on and often with little notice. Being a military spouse is not just a description based upon a husband or wife’s job — it’s a total lifestyle commitment that requires each spouse to have his or her own sense of duty, honor and patriotism.

“I appreciate that my husband supports me and my career and is my No. 1 teammate and supporter! That often means there are a lot more responsibilities he has to take on at home and he tackles those without complaining,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Ashleymarie McKerlie, 802nd Force Support Squadron. “I also appreciate that I can count on him to always just be there for me, whether that be just lending an ear or going to events – he is always there for me.”

Today, we salute our Military Spouses for being there whenever they’re needed. When you see a military spouse, thank them for a job well done!