Pausing to Honor Our Nation's Military Spouses
Ronald Reagan was the first president to establish an official day to recognize the important work carried out by the spouses of our military members. In 1984, he signed a proclamation designating the Friday before Mother’s Day as Military Spouse Appreciation Day. It’s an annual celebration to recognize and express our appreciation for the sacrifices of military spouses.
While this annual day of appreciation dates back to 1984, military spouses have played a role in helping our country as far back as the Revolutionary War. Military spouses of deployed service personnel assume the role of both mother and father for their kids and handle all household duties. Many do so while also working at least part-time outside the home.
The United States has special days to celebrate and thank our service personnel and veterans, but Military Spouse Appreciation Day is the only holiday dedicated to honoring their spouses. We hope to help raise awareness of the sacrifices military spouses make and offer you a few suggestions for thanking them, too.
7 Ways to Thank a Military Spouse
If someone in your family or social circle is the spouse of a deployed military member, here are a few ideas you can use to show your appreciation:
- Pitch in: Many people don’t realize that families often suffer a significant income loss if a spouse is a member of a deployed reserve unit. Home maintenance and repairs can add to the financial hardship. On Military Spouse Appreciation Day, round up friends and family and offer to pitch in to help with tasks and repairs.
- Child care: Offer free babysitting each month. You can stay with the kids for a few hours while the military spouse enjoys some alone time.
- Spa day: For a military spouse juggling many responsibilities while coping with the stress of having a loved one deployed, a spa day might be just what they need—and deserve!
- Housekeeping services: Another way to say thank you is by paying for a housekeeping service. A professional housekeeper can complete the spring cleaning chores an overbooked military spouse might not have the time to get to.
- Restaurant gift cards: When money is tight, families often give up eating at restaurants. It’s much less expensive to dine at home. But for a busy military spouse, a fun night out with the kids provides a break from cooking.
- Yard care: Spring and summer yard care can be an additional burden to bear. Round up a few friends and volunteer your time to help with yard care and spring cleanup. If your budget permits, pay for some annuals to spruce up the exterior.
- Gift card to the mall: Chip in with neighbors, friends, and family to purchase a gift card to a local mall. The military spouse can decide if they want to spend it on clothing, cosmetics, a movie, or a few new mystery novels at the bookstore. The key is to encourage them to use it for themselves and not their children.
Aid & Attendance Benefit for Spouses
If the military spouse in your life is actually the spouse of a veteran and not an active duty service member, they may be eligible for financial assistance with senior care expenses. This program is referred to as the Aid & Attendance Benefit.
Wartime veterans and their surviving spouses can apply for this financial support through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The team at your local Sunrise Senior Living community can help answer questions about the program. Call today to learn more.