Today, May 11, 2018, has been proclaimed National Military Spouse Appreciation Day. The Purple Heart Foundation would like to express our deepest gratitude to the husbands and wives that sacrifice so much to support their loved one’s military careers. Military spouses often give up stable jobs, they must move constantly and be distant from their spouses for long periods of time. That sacrifice is one that can not be ignored, nor can their commitment and support for their spouses, so for that, we thank our nations’ military spouses.

The first time military spouses were celebrated nationally was on May 23, 1984 by proclamation of former President Ronald Reagan as a singular day of observance. Over a decade later, in 1999, the celebration of military spouses became an annual observance which would take place on the second Friday in May. The month of May officially became deemed National Military Appreciation Month by Congress that same year, which would include annual observances like National Defense Transportation Day, Armed Forces Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day and the most well-known patriotic May holiday, Memorial Day.

We stand by the words of President Reagan from his original proclamation of this day, when he confessed the importance of military spouses to our country. Reagan wrote that “as volunteers, military spouses have provided exemplary service and leadership in educational, community, recreational, religious, social and cultural endeavors…and as parents and homemakers, they preserve the cornerstone of our Nation’s strength—the American family.”

One of the most notable times of strength for military spouses is seen during the many moving processes. Being active-duty comes with the perk of traveling the country and sometimes the world. But the downside is that this requires the whole family to relocate, not being able to settle down and become rooted to a single location or community. Military spouses start their research on the new location as soon as possible. They look for affordable housing, good school districts, after school activities, creating a network of friends, finding online resources for doctors, meanwhile taking care of the packing and unpacking, staying strong for the whole family and turning that new house – into a home. Many times, a military spouses’ strength goes unnoticed, so a single day of appreciation within a year is a start, though they deserve so much more. So here are a few ways that you can show your appreciation to a military spouse on this Military Spouse Appreciation Day!

1.) Say “Thank You”
Sometimes, a simple “thank you” is enough to show your appreciation to your military spouse.

2.) A day of Pampering Together
If you are a veteran or active duty military try to make the day all about your spouse, do whatever makes them happy, pamper them and show you appreciate all that they do.

3.) Give your military spouse a day off.
Take care of all the major responsibilities, whether you or a family member or friend does it or you hire some to do it. Make sure your military spouse has no worries for the rest of the day.

4.) Token of Appreciation
Military Spouse Appreciation Day is like the military version of Valentines Day. Enjoy a romantic evening of dinner, buy flowers or chocolates. Pay attention to hints that may lead to a thoughtful gift idea.

5.) Donate
Donate to a foundation that supports veterans, active-duty military, and their families. https://purpleheartfoundation.org/donation-direct-support/

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