I have been a military spouse for 9 years. I am not a professional and I don’t have all the answers. But really, who does? One of the poems I have come across through the years and has always stuck with me is called “The Silent Ranks”. It has great meaning to me. It reminds me that not only am I part of something greater but I am also not alone. Many have come before me, walk beside me today, and will come after me.
“The Silent Ranks”
I wear no uniforms, no blues or army greens
But I am in the Army in the ranks rarely seen
I have no rank upon my shoulders – salutes I do not give
But the military world is the place where I live
I’m not in the chain of command, orders I do not get
But my husband is the one who does, this I can not forget
I’m not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line
But my job is just as tough. I’m the one that’s left behind
My husband is a patriot, a brave and prideful man
And the call to serve his country not all can understand
Behind the lines I see the things needed to keep this country free
My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do our kids and me
I love the man I married, Soldiering is his life
But I stand among the silent ranks known as the Army Wife
It takes a strong person to be a military spouse. Believe it or not every single one of us is strong. Sometimes we don’t know it and sometimes we don’t feel it. But one step at a time, one moment at a time, one day at a time we do it and you know what…. it is worth it!
I love being a member of the Silent Ranks and I want to share my reasons with you. Hopefully it reminds you we are not alone and even with all the challenges this life is pretty unique and fantastic.
- Built In Family. Everyone is family. You can be brand new to a base but knock on any door and there is someone there to help you out. No matter where you go you are never truly alone as the military is a family and we are apart of it.
- Canadian Pride. No one has more pride than a Canadian Forces member and their family. It shows everywhere. You may even find yourself glaring at people at a hockey game who can’t bother to stand up, remove their hat and/or stop talking. (I may or may not speak from experience on that one.)
- Benefits. We have a pretty sweet benefit package. So many out there can not afford basic medication or glasses. Sure we don’t get them for free but the military does cover the majority of the expense for a measly monthly payment from us.
- Job Security. I am not blind. I sit back seeing so many people lose their jobs and it is next to impossible to find a new one. Yet I get to sit here knowing that tomorrow my husband has a job to go to and I don’t need to worry.
- MFRC. I am not a big user of the MFRC (Military Family Resource Centre) or PSP (Personnel Support Program) but they all have some pretty sweet programs to keep you and your children busy. Let’s not even mention the fantastic deployment support the MFRC provides when your spouse is away.
My husband is lined up to retire in 6 years. Already we are talking about the what ifs and if we will sign again. The military life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows but it is a life like no other. I am terrified to walk away from this life, the family and the incredible support system. We are truly taken care of and I am very proud to be a part of such a huge and amazing family.
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