Military Spouses - The Difference

 Over the years, I've talked a lot about military special
 they are and the price they pay for freedom too.  The funny thing about it,
 is most military spouses don't consider themselves different from other
 spouses.  They do what they have to do, bound together not by blood or
 merely friendship, but with a shared spirit whose origin is in the
 very essence of what love truly is.  Is there truly a difference?  I think
 there is.  You have to decide for yourself.

 Other spouses get married and look forward to building equity in a
 home and putting down family roots.  Military spouses get married and know
 they'll live in base housing or rent, and their roots must be short so they
 can be transplanted frequently.

 Other spouses decorate a home with flair and personality that will
 last a lifetime.  Military spouses decorate a home with flare tempered with
 the knowledge that no two base houses have the same size windows or same
 size rooms.  Curtains have to be flexible and multiple sets are a plus.
 Furniture must fit like puzzle pieces.

 Other spouses have living rooms that are immaculate and seldom used.
 Military spouses have immaculate living room/dining room combos.  The
 coffee table got a scratch or two moving from Germany, but it still looks
 pretty good.

 Other spouses say good-bye to their spouse for a business trip and
 know they won't see them for a week.  They are lonely, but can survive.
 Military spouses say good-bye to their deploying spouse and know they
 won't see them for months, or for a remote, a year.  They are lonely, but
will  survive.

 Other spouses, when a washer hose blows off, call Maytag and then
 write a check out for getting the hose reconnected.
 Military spouses will cut the water off and fix it themselves.

 Other spouses get used to saying "hello" to friends they see all the
 time.  Military spouses get used to saying "good-bye" to friends made the
 last two years.

 Other spouses worry about whether their child will be class president
 next year.  Military spouses worry about whether their child will be
 accepted in yet another new school next year and whether that school will
be the  worst in the city...again.

 Other spouses can count on spouse participation in special events
 ...birthdays, anniversaries, concerts, football games, graduation, and
 even the birth of a child.  Military spouses only count on each other;
 because they realize that the Flag has to come first if freedom is to
 survive.  It has to be that way.

 Other spouses put up yellow ribbons when the troops are imperiled
 across the globe and take them down when the troops come home.
 Military spouses wear yellow ribbons around their hearts and they
 never go away.

 Other spouses worry about being late for mom's Thanksgiving dinner.
 Military spouses worry about getting back from Japan in time for dad's

 And other spouses are touched by the television program showing an
 elderly lady putting a card down in front of a long, black wall that has
 on it. The card simply says "Happy Birthday, Sweetheart.  You would have
 been sixty today."  A military spouse is the lady with the card.  And the
 wall is the Vietnam Memorial.

 I would never say military spouses are better or worse than other spouses
 are.  But I will say there is a difference.  And I will say that our
 country asks more of military spouses than is asked of other spouses.  And
I  will say, without hesitation, that military spouses pay just as high a
 price for freedom as do their active duty husbands or wives.  Perhaps the
price  they pay is even higher.  Dying in service to our country isn't near as
 hard as loving someone who has died in service to our country, and having
to live without them.

 God bless our military spouses for all they freely give.
 And God bless America.

By Colonel Steven Arrington (USAF)