Passionately Patriotic – One of the reasons I embraced the military lifestyle as a young and newly married Navy wife was because of the patriotic response I witnessed in other seasoned military wives. I had never seen such patriotism until I stood pier side that first time surrounded by thousands of other military families for the exuberant homecoming of the war ship my husband, Ray, served on.
Military families care deeply about their nation. Deep down they know they are part of something honorable, even though they wear no uniform. When they marry Uncle Sam becomes their demanding father-in-law, who expects them to also “serve” but behind the scenes in faithful support. When a service member retires or leaves military service, there’s an indelible mark of patriotism and Americanism that lives on. They become the beacon of light to those that follow them.
Spouses of Military Members – The military spouse who becomes the ‘home-keeper’ has an important role to fill. The spouse’s support is vital to the overall success of his or her service member’s job. If the home is not stable or unified, this has the potential to affect not only the service member’s performance, but also his or her command readiness level. An unstable, un-unified military home can compromise the command’s mission. For this reason, military families need our country’s prayers and support. How can our country remain a military superpower if our military homes are unstable and the service member’s focus is severely divided.
Military spouses also know there will be occasions in which they will have to give up a good job or forfeit that much needed promotion or raise in order to go where the military sends their husband. I chose to look at these types of negative aspects of the military lifestyle much like the old fashion film strips of the past called, ‘negatives’. It’s the negative aspects of life that develop us into resilient military spouses. Those negative circumstances, combined with patience and faith, become the threads, when woven together, make up the resilient fabric of a military wife.
Military Families are Natural Volunteers – Oftentimes you will find military families volunteering in their commands, communities, schools, and for worthy causes. They are used to the idea of sacrificial service as they live it out every day, so for many military families volunteering is just part of their lifestyle.
Military Families are Committed – Even though they don’t wear a uniform, they too, serve this country. They forfeit holidays, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and major milestones without their beloved service member. Even when times get downright hard, they endure, knowing this time of extreme difficulty will pass. Deep within their soul, there is a strong conviction that their sacrifice matters and contributes, however small, to lasting freedom and the upholding of the core values of this nation. The military family’s commitment and faithful support becomes part of the mosaic of the faithful support of all those that came before them.
Extended Family Members – Military families who are blessed with family living near by, their support is priceless. Often, grandparents become vital in the lives of military children. Grandparents are often called on to open up their homes to care for grandkids if both parents are deployed or a military spouse works a non-traditional shift or attends college. In our case, we were never stationed near family, however, we were blessed with two civilian families that had prior military service, and I’m convinced God put them into our lives because He knew we needed them.
It doesn’t take much for a military family to feel appreciated. More often than not, what they really want to know is that they’re not forgotten. A handwritten ‘thank you’ card, a heartfelt hug, or a simple gesture such as adopting a military family over for Thanksgiving dinner is the perfect way to celebrate the month known for giving thanks. What better way to say thanks than sharing a Thanksgiving meal together.
Lisa Nixon Phillips, a retired military wife, as well as a military mom, writes and speaks for the military community, women’s ministries, church events, conferences, and seminars. Her book, “Faith Steps for Military Families” is available on her website at http://www.LisaNixonPhillips.com. It is also available on Amazon.com, Christianbook.com, and BarnesandNoble.com. If you’d like a signed copy of her book, email her at email@example.com