The Strength of Military Spouses

Author: Kailyn Rhinehart, Air Force Spouse

MAS shows appreciation for Military Spouse Strength

Military members fight for many of the freedoms we enjoy today. They work tirelessly and courageously. But there’s another group within the military community to acknowledge for their strength:

The Military Spouse…

During Military Appreciation Month and on Military Spouse Day, we honor and express our deepest gratitude to military spouses for their strength and resilience. Military spouses serve in selfless and often understated ways, demonstrating incredible bravery and dedication.

Military spouses support service members

Who are Military Spouses?

Military spouses support their husband or wife through the daily life and challenging hardships of being a member of the military.  Deployments, months of separation, and frequent moves impact the entire military family, especially the spouse.

A survey for Military Family Readiness at Penn State found there were 605,716 active-duty military spouses. This number doesn’t even include 363,462 Selected Reserve military spouses. 81% of those spouses experienced a PCS (permanent change of station or move) within the last 5 years.

Things like family support, education, and career choices impact a spouse’s experience. This often includes frequent relocation. Some military families remain stateside, but others must face relocating OCONUS.

Military families face challenges

The Challenges Most Military Spouses Face

Military life comes with challenges for both the service member and their family.

Military spouses experience challenges like time away from family, childcare, relocation, and deployments. Many military spouses even struggle with employment. This is mainly due to frequent moves. Employment challenges can make living or moving overseas more complicated—and vice versa.

Some military families choose to temporarily separate during their service member’s commitment. The spouse then faces the challenge of staying back home, away from their service member. It’s times like this when a military spouse holds down the home front, while their spouse is away serving.

Military spouses redefining normalcy

Unwavering Strength: Military Spouses Redefining Normalcy

It’s no secret the spouse is the backbone of the military family. This includes life abroad.

Because a military family moves with their military member’s orders, a spouse may also permanently move internationally. During an OCONUS move, the military spouse juggles it all. They deal with paperwork, cultural transition, and adapting to life overseas.

Military spouses stationed overseas are faced with unfamiliarity. While their family is placed at an international duty station, they navigate languages, cultures, traditions, and customs.

Military spouses are the chameleons of the military. They take on new challenges with ease—or at least determination. They adapt to what’s thrown at them time and time again, wherever they end up.

U.S. Military spend holidays overseas

Holidays Overseas

International duty stations can feel isolated during the holidays. Traveling home to family and friends over the holidays burdens military families financially. Not to mention, the usual difficulties service members encounter when taking leave.

So yes, the Eiffel Tower lit up on Christmas is beautiful. Soaking in the culture of Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But international moves for a military spouse do not come without frustrations. Every duty station has its difficulties. However, OCONUS moves provide a set of new challenges for spouses.

The struggles of an international duty station and move only enhance a military spouse’s strength. They gain the courage to navigate life outside of what they know. Through it all, the lessons and accomplishments they gain allow them to navigate hardships anywhere.

Military spouses adapt and thrive

Gaining Courage as a Military Spouse

Through this lifestyle, military spouses gain courage and confidence. Through time and experience, military spouses adapt.

A military spouse’s confidence occurs over time. Usually with a solid community and a hefty dose of resilience. Not every relocation guarantees the beauty of a community. And not every experience within military life goes smoothly.

Despite the hardships of military life, military spouses show strength and courage daily. Their strength through every challenge is truly something to celebrate.

About Military AutoSource

Built for and by the military, Military AutoSource provides a factory-direct program tailored to the unique circumstances and needs of military life. As the only Exchange and DoD authorized car-buying program, MAS is the exclusive military distributor and retailer for Audi, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Lexus, Lincoln, Nissan, Ram, Toyota, Volkswagen vehicles and Harley-Davidson bikes.

Through our program service members stationed or deployed overseas can purchase a new or pre-owned vehicle for delivery in the US or to more than 50 overseas duty locations. Learn more about your overseas U.S. Military car-buying benefits. 

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