What is Military Spouse Appreciation Day? A military spouse should have more than one day to be appreciated since they keep the homes secure and everything running smoothly. Still, this day particularly highlights the importance of their role. It gives those around the military spouse and the husband or wife overseas a day to reevaluate and recognize the unique characteristics of their spouse. These individuals positively impact all around them and are hopeful in nature while strong enough to be able to run the operations at home.
When Is National Military Spouse Day?
National Military Spouse Day started in 1984 with then-President Ronald Reagan’s proclamation 5184. Initially, he set the date to be May 23rd, but the US Secretary of Defense at the time, Caspar Weinberger, standardized the date to be the first Friday in May. In 2022 it was celebrated on May 6th. President Reagan wanted to appreciate military spouses because they also serve this country, though in a unique manner. For many active military members, their wife or husband provides hope, inspiration, and motivation to serve America with pride and purpose.
It wasn’t until 1999 that Congress officially declared May as military appreciation month, which was proposed by former Sen. John McCain. It was recognized by a unanimous vote in April of that year. The contributions of these soldiers and their loved ones is undeniable, and these periods of appreciation are only an additional step toward properly appreciating these sacrifices.
What Does Military Spouse Appreciation Mean?
Military Spouse Appreciation Day means recognizing that these individuals at home sacrifice their goals and dreams of a “normal” household and marriage. Birthdays, anniversaries, and vacations are set aside or missed by a military spouse because their loved one is on active duty. While there are many communities and support groups dedicated to ensuring these families are given the resources that they need to manage in the absence of their loved one, that will never replace the presence of their family. There will always be that missing piece, and this needs to be respected and understood.
It is not an easy feat, yet countless Americans partake in these experiences so that our freedom remains intact. Today and every day, it is essential to appreciate the sacrifices and strength of those who are military spouses.
Ways to Honor a Military Spouse in Your Life
How one should honor a military spouse in their life should ultimately consider the particular person that is being appreciated. While some people enjoy the recognition, other military spouses are more likely to assert that their service member is the hero in the situation. It is understandable that many would be more inclined to accept that appreciation from the one they love most, but this day can also do well in bringing groups together in appreciation for one another. In the words of one spouse, “I try to use Military Spouse Appreciation Day as a reminder to thank the fellow military spouses I know who have made a positive impact on my life.”1
How you can show appreciation include:
- Writing a thoughtful letter
- Helping that person complete a task
- Posting your gratitude on social media
- Reaching out and asking how they are
- Being an active listener to someone that needs an ear
While spectacle may not be on everyone’s mind, taking the time to spread the love can have a profound impact in the long run. Building and fostering community is a very important part of military culture, and this same sentiment should extend to all that feel the effects of deployment and active service.
Military Spouse Appreciation Day Gift Ideas
If you are an active-duty member or a friend or family member of a military spouse, you can give a thoughtful gift. An excellent gift for a military spouse is workout clothes since they are always on the move, checking off the responsibility boxes. Think about giving tactical or CrossFit leggings for a military wife, with pockets, of course. Another thoughtful gift idea is a piece of personalized jewelry. Whether it is customized with a meaningful message or some kind of reminder of their loved one, this is a classic present that a woman can truly cherish.
A bottle breacher is a fun gift for military husbands since it is a .50 caliber shell and is a cool way to open his favorite beer bottle. He may also enjoy a good watch, some kind of membership for a hobby or organization he enjoys, and even a personalized pocket knife. Of course, it’s hard to go wrong with giving cool gadgets or comfy clothes but at the end of the day, give a gift that will remind the military spouse you know what they enjoy and that you miss them.
Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day From Banyan Treatment Center
At Banyan, we offer addiction help for military spouses. Unfortunately, some military spouses face addiction due to feeling isolated and alone, especially if a wife or husband does not have children. In these cases, military spouses will use alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism and as a distraction. Our veteran family support services are an excellent way for family members to express themselves through group therapy and gain education on how to handle specific situations concerning a loved one and addiction.
Additionally, if simply being a family member of an active-duty soldier makes you feel that you need additional support, you may benefit from an inpatient facility. Military and Veterans in Recovery offers special levels of care, like medically monitored detox programs for veterans or active-duty members who are battling substance abuse. We also have facilities to treat those who are not veterans or on active duty. Some of our therapies include EMDR therapy, accelerated resolution therapy, and more.
You don’t have to suffer in silence or isolation. We encourage any veterans or affected family members to reach out and utilize the many services that are at your disposal. Our Military rehab center can help you manage your mental health and address any addictions that have arisen over time.
- National Military Family Association - Military Spouse Appreciation Day: Do They Even Want to Be Appreciated?