I’m enjoying another Veterans Day celebration. Friends and family members send recognition, thanking me for my 21 years of service in the Navy, and I appreciate the acknowledgements. My military service was hard work, especially given I had a demanding, full-time civilian job and served in the Reserves, which compared to having yet another full time position.
But what made the unbearable seem bearable was the support and encouragement I received from my spouse, Dean. Nearly every month he drove me to my drill sites, some years between four and six hours away, so I could finish projects for my civilian job or ready my military paperwork for the weekend. (It’s been said the Navy actually floats on paper and that joke seemed very real to me.) He kept things running at the house when I was away on Annual Training. He comforted me when I said goodbye to a shipmate who was transferring to another unit, retiring out or, at the darkest times, never coming home.
It’s said your military buddies are some of the deepest bonds you’ll ever have in your life. You depend on each other, many times in matters of life or death. But at the heart of a successful soldier, sailor, airman or Marine are their family members, who also serve their country by supporting and encouraging their loved ones in the military. They sacrifice a measure of happiness and security for their spouses who are focused on keeping Americans safe from harm, whether that be close by or thousands of miles away.
Some time ago a military spouse shared that her husband was continually offered assistance for his military disability. Of course, she was grateful for the goodwill shown her husband, but there was an emptiness for her. She was his caregiver and ran the entire household, a burden so incredibly heavy. Yet only measured comfort was shown to her.
On this Veterans Day and every day, don’t forget to recognize the support military families, especially spouses, give to their soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines. In my case, the assistance allowed me to serve to my fullest potential. Today, I salute my Vice President of Janitorial Services Dean McDermott for the sacrifices he has made for me and our country.