A friend and I were eating a quick lunch at quaint coffee shop in coastal North Carolina. Our table overlooked the Atlantic Ocean, and for a moment, I thought I was in heaven as I kicked my feet back and sipped on my caramel macchiato.
I looked over to my friend, half-smiled and said, “You know, even though they’re gone, it’s not so bad. I mean…Ocean view, coffee, hanging with an awesome friend. It’s rough.”
We both smirked at each other knowing we’d hit the military spouse friend jackpot. Then, she leaned over to me and said something I’ll never forget.
“I think the military spouse community is dying.”
I sat there digesting what she said, trying to decide if she was speaking the brutal truth or a complete fallacy.
Military spouses make a difference.
For the next 30 minutes, we talked in detail about the shift in the military spouse community. It definitely isn’t the community spouses saw 10 years ago, but the community is still there. It is simply different. I thought intently about all the ways I knew military spouses were making a difference. And then I listed them off one-by-one trying to change her mind.
They go beyond “let me know if you need anything.”
We all know the comfortable saying “let me know if you need anything.” This saying is comfortable because it makes the person saying it feel like they are doing something. But it doesn’t usually lead to much action, because more than likely, the military spouse isn’t going to “let anyone know” that she needs help unless the house is on fire. In which case, she’d call the fire department. But…
There are amazing spouses out there, who not only take action, they offer specific ways to help each other. They say things like…
“Pick a morning this week, and I will watch your kids for you.”
“What night is best for me to drop a meal off for your family.”
“Let me watch your pet while you’re on vacation, and I’ll save you the boarding fees.”
The spouses that go beyond “let me know if you need anything” are amazing, and they are making a difference in our community every day.
They support amazing causes.
Military spouses take time out to support programs that are making a difference in the lives of military families and veterans. They volunteer and give their time to non-profits, fundraisers, and promote initiatives that are close to their hearts.
One example of this is military spouses coming together to support United Rentals’ Turns for Troops, an initiative that will donate $50 to SoldierStrong for every lap Graham Rahal completes in the IndyCar Series this season up to $100,000.
They create safe online communities.
While there is a shift from in person support to online support, the online community still offers immense value to fellow spouses. There are military spouses who voluntarily run Facebook groups to help support the needs of the community.
One example of this is spouses who run community babysitting groups, which connects military spouses to qualified babysitters in their area. Some spouses spend several hours a week just helping military families gain access to reliable and quality childcare.
They are the backbone of the military family.
Most people refer to military spouses as the “dependent.” But the truth is, being a military spouse requires immense responsibility, leadership and independence. Military spouses are prepared to run their households solo at a moment’s notice. They do the finances, taxes, school arrangements for kids, create family travel plans, and so much more. They are making a difference by keeping their families strong despite the ambiguity of military life.
They answer the call of friendship.
Moving every few years, making new friends, and maintaining long-distance friendships takes hard work. But military spouses do this for years, and some, for decades. They come together to make friendships work despite the barriers. They are making a difference to cultivate a community of support and friendship.
You can make a difference too.
When military spouses come together the community gets stronger, and the lives of service members and their families are better. This is what makes military spouses amazing.
Right now, you can join with your fellow military spouses to support United Rentals’ Turns For Troops and the non-profit SoldierStrong.
Through this amazing initiative, United Rentals Turns for Troops is donating $50 to SoldierStrong for every lap completed by Graham Rahal this racing season up to $100,000. For every $50 donated, the SoldierStrong SoldierSuit can provide one day of mobility to an injured veteran.
SoldierStrong provides scholarships to returning veterans and partners with cutting-edge rehabilitation technology companies to literally get our heroes “back on their feet.” Providing continuing education services as well as SoldierStrong SoldierSuits—cutting edge exoskeletons to help injured vets retain mobility—they are committed to total service to the veteran community.
Join me in supporting United Rentals’ Turns for Troops and help SoldierStrong SoldierSuit provide mobility to injured veterans today.
Want more on military life?
- You Know You’re Living in Base Housing When…
- 10 Things Strong Military Spouses Do Differently
- Best Moving Overseas Checklist for Military Families
- How to Stay Absolutely Miserable in Military Life
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of United Rentals. The opinions and text are all mine.