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Posts Tagged ‘Military Spouse Appreciation Day’

Every Mother’s Day, I take a moment to look at my life and reflect on how great it is. It’s been over 15 years since I lost my leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq and I can honestly say my life is better now than it has ever been. I am a proud mother, wife, Veteran, elite athlete and motivational speaker. F46181FD-8D91-491A-B0F6-C34D4B1791CF

Being a mom is my favorite. It’s both the best and the hardest job and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s hard not to tear up a little when I think about the love I have for my kids.

My happiest moments and best days are when I’m with my family; playing, walking, dancing or doing anything as long as we are together. I often think about the sacrifice that military families make due to service to our country. Deployments, relocations, training exercise.  All of these mean missed time with family members.

I would not be where I am today, without the support system I had to get me through the transitions I had in life. From a military spouse, to losing my leg, being medically retired from the Army and a new mom. I was so grateful to have organizations out there to help me when I needed them along with my support team of my family and friends. I’ve learned from experience, that us moms need all the help we can get!

I believe that moms are the heart and soul of the family, (dads are pretty important too!)  from the day we know that little one is in our belly! There is a special bond between moms, as if we can give each other a ‘we’ve got this’ head nod as we walk by with our strollers and sometimes screaming kids. We are, after all, all in this together. We have the strength, resilience, to push through whatever comes our way.

My children give me the motivation to dream big and I hope that one day they will have big dreams of their own. I will always be their biggest cheerleader.    45774282-7C31-45CE-8AA0-F79B6AB5D1E2

Coming up on May 19th, I have the opportunity to meet some expecting military moms (and new moms as well) at the Operation Homefront Star Spangled Baby Shower event in Colorado Springs. I cannot wait to meet you all.

So, to all the moms and the soon-to-be moms out there – cherish this day and love on those little, or not so little ones, in your life. I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day! #Mission2Honor  #MilitaryMoms.
Melissa Stockwell
1LT, Ret.
Proud mom of 2

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The Start Strong, Stay Strong campaign offers military moms a network of support – online and in commissaries and exchanges around the world – so they may connect with their communities, explore local events and discover motivational stories. Whether they are welcoming a new child into the home, managing day-to-day household needs through relocations, adjusting to family life with a wounded veteran, or settling into new schools and communities, P&G and Operation Homefront are here to help military moms start strong and stay strong throughout their service to our country.
Through the online community, StartStrongPG.com, military moms can access the information they need wherever they live, all year long. They will discover things to do, find local resources in their community, unlock savings, explore an online marketplace, and much more.

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It was our second year as members of our local community pool and summer swim team, when one afternoon, my husband popped in on the way home from the base.  In his Navy whites.  Just a quick drop by, kiss on the cheek, wave to the kids, see you at home type deal. As he walked out, three heads simultaneously swiveled to stare in confusion at me:

militaryspouseappreciation

Take a bow, spouses. You have more than earned it.

“YOU’RE a military wife?” 

“Yes…”

“He’s in…the NAVY?!”

“Yes….”

“Since when?!”

“Uh….the last 10 years.”

“How did we miss that?”

That’s actually a good question.  The answer probably involves a little bit of me not really wearing military life on my sleeve and (I suspect) a bit more of the stereotypes and myths surrounding “the military spouse”.  But mainly, I think it was because our chats were those common to a group of acquaintances. We talked about things like swimming, schools, topics in the news, or events around town.

You know, normal everyday stuff.

I am going to say something that might surprise you: the “military spouse” is, really, just like you.  They have their talents and gifts, and their quirks and not-so-awesome moments.  They don’t have super powers and wear capes (though it would be totally cool if they did).  They carry the day and drop the ball.  They can light fires under folks, or put them out.  Or put out the fires they started (“I thought the burner was off,  honest.”).  They have kids that get straight As and ones that just can’t seem to turn in their homework. Their lawns need mowing.  Their cars need oil changes.  Their cat needs to go to the vet. Their friends know not to call them between 9 and 10PM, Sunday night.  Because, Game of Thrones, people!

So, after all that, you may ask, why Military Spouse Appreciation Day?

Because they live a life of the seemingly ordinary, under conditions that are anything but.  Because people they love deeply, their partners in this crazy world, are gone for months, sometimes years.  Because they know their loved one may never come home, or be irrevocably altered by the horrors of war when they do.  Because others can’t, or won’t, make that sacrifice.  Because even though they often go unnoticed, what they do serves all of us in a way that we may never be able to repay.

And that makes them extraordinary.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day is May 10th 2013.

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