KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
When I hear the words, “Military Spouse” my heart feels heavy. I know firsthand as an 81st Training Wing Key Spouse the highs and lows our resilient military spouses overcome and yet, they continue to rise at every challenge placed before them.
They are the glue that holds their family together, make any house their home and reinvent themselves and their careers several times over the years. Their life is not always the easiest and often they feel alone. They continually sacrifice for their families and our country. They are the epiphany of resilience and strength.
A few years ago I was blessed to take photos for a military homecoming. As I rode up the escalator to meet the family, I saw a military spouse and her adorable little five-year-old girl waiting anxiously. This sweet girl was wearing a red glittery tutu dress and pigtails as she was holding a huge “I Missed You Daddy” sign.
She had a smile on her face that stretched from here to Europe and she couldn’t wait to wrap her arms around her daddy. As we stood there waiting for his plane to land, other travelers saw what was about to take place. Before we knew it, the waiting area was full of spectators anxiously sitting to get a glance of this reunion.
Anticipation filled the room when all of a sudden we hear this little girl scream, “Daddy”!!! Everyone starts cheering and clapping. Our little red tutu girl takes off and jumps into her daddy’s arms! There was not a dry eye in that airport; it was truly a beautiful family reunion.
The father’s supervisor welcomed his troop home and asked “How was your deployment?”
He responded by saying, “It was terrible.”
The supervisor asked, “Why? What happened?”
The Airman looked him straight in the eye and said, “Because I thought you would take better care of my family while I was gone.”
So often the only family and support our military spouses receive is what their base offers them. It’s absolutely vital that our Air Force provides unwavering support to our military spouses and their families. While they do not wear the uniform, they are a part of the strength behind the mission of the U.S. Air Force.
If you are struggling, please know you are absolutely not alone. Keesler has numerous fully trained individuals sitting by waiting to support you and your family in any challenge you are facing. Support services available to you are: financial assistance, counseling, childcare, deployment services and the list goes on.
If you are in need of guidance or support, never hesitate to reach out to your spouse’s leadership, your squadron Key Spouse, the chapel or the Airman & Family Readiness Center. These individuals are fully trained in all available base support agencies and have a heart to serve our Keesler families. Keesler prides itself in providing the highest level of military spouse support and stands firmly behind the quote of “You’ve got this, we’ve got you.”
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to each one of our spouses. You are an inspiration, you are strong and most importantly you are valued, appreciated and not on this journey alone! From one military spouse to another, we can overcome anything, if we do it together.