Representing only one percent of our population in the United States, our military willingly takes on the ultimate responsibility of protecting our entire nation.
Missing small moments of each day that we often take for granted here at home, as well as irreplaceable milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, graduations with the people they love, our Service members make incredible sacrifices and put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of us all.
They do not make these sacrifices alone. When our troops are called to action, so too are their families.
In their unconditional support and care for of those in harm’s way, military families show us what words like “service,” “strength,” and “sacrifice” truly mean.
They sustain the troops that are defending America, tend for our wounded warriors, and survive our fallen. Military families – spouses and children alike – remind us that with everything these families do to serve our country, in turn their nation has an obligation to serve them.
The needs of our military families cannot be met solely in Washington, nor by improving the support provided by government alone. It is up to the other 99 percent to make sure that these families are receiving the respect and consideration they so deserve.
There are many ways to offer support for our military families, recognizing the various factors that are an everyday part of life in the military- both as Service member and family member.
In many cases, military spouses move from one community to another when their spouses are assigned to new duty stations. These transfers can make it very difficult for spouses to continue with their careers, as well as trying to habitually find similar jobs in their new locations. Employment is often considered an essential for many military spouses, especially when left to maintain their household and carry on while loved ones are deployed.
Military children move frequently due to a parent/parents’ reassignments. These moves can sometimes make it difficult to transfer records, secure spaces in courses, and complete required testing on time. There are also additional adjustments needed sometimes due to changing schools and children’s abilities to stay included in extra-curricular activities such as sports and other programs.
The stress of war, multiple deployments, and frequent moves can sometimes affect the wellness of military families. Children and spouses are often faced with ever-changing circumstances as well as constant concern regarding the well-being and safety of loved ones serving our country and fighting our wars. They must learn to cope with anxiety, changes in relationships with family and friends, and other emotional challenges in dealing with deployments, illness or injury, and high mobility.
Additionally, members of our National Guard and Reserves as well as their families also face distinct challenges unique to their own service, as they often live great distances from military communities where they could receive support and services. Our “citizen-soldiers” and their families are our friends and neighbors, and our teachers and local small business owners, but they drop everything and report to duty when called.