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Sarah PeacheyBy Sarah Peachey    

            One of my best friends said it best. “There is nothing tighter than a bond between military wives. We become more sisters than friends.” And I agree with her. The military spouse community is a great one. We often band together, only knowing each other for a short time. Some of the friends I made in less than a year I know will be friends of mine for a long time.

            I think we all know at least one person that makes the military spouse community even better. It can be as simple as the wife and mother who spends all night mixing up batter for her child’s school bake sale, the wife who takes on the Family Readiness Group to make it better for everyone involved or the woman who is committed to having a park on the installation so her children have a safe place to play. Then there are the wives who really put themselves out there and dedicate their time and energy to improving the lives of military spouses everywhere.

            As a journalist at Fort Polk, LA for almost two years, I had the opportunity to cover a lot of spouse events that hosted special guest speakers. I was amazed to hear about how much time these spouses dedicate to others, all while living the same lifestyle we do: Raising children, going to school, learning a new career, sending off a service member, etc.

            Here are a few military spouses I’ve met that go above and beyond in their dedication to their community. You may even know a few of them. I hope they can act as an inspiration to all spouses that we must work together to keep each other strong.

            Tara Crooks and Starr Henderson with “The Army Wife Network”

            Each year, Crooks and Henderson try to visit a few military installations across the country to host “field exercises.” What started out as Army Wife Talk Radio has since evolved into The Army Wife Network, a resource for military spouses everywhere. I attended one of their field exercises at Fort Polk shortly after my husband left for his first deployment. Crooks and Henderson gather tons of resources to help spouses deal with the military lifestyle and everything that comes with it. The night was filled with entertaining games, stories, raffles, door prizes and more. They released their book, “1001 Things to Love About Military Life” in September 2012. It’s very uplifting for those spouses facing tough times. Don’t let the name fool you —their suggestions and resources are not limited to Army spouses and their field exercises are open to spouses of all ages, branches and duty status. Check out all the valuable information on their website at www.armywifenetwork.com.

            Marshele Waddell with “Hope for the Home Front”

            The wife of a former Navy SEAL, Waddell dedicates her time to her organization, “Hope for the Home Front.” After 25 years in service, her husband suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and multiple Traumatic Brain Injuries, along with other aches, pains and problems associated with his time in service. Waddell wrote the book, “Hope for the Home Front” in 2002, to offer “hope, healing and solutions” to the problems spouses face when their partner suffers from PTSD and TBIs. Since then, her assistance has branched out and Hope for the Home Front now offers workshops and retreats for spouses. I attended an event hosted by Operation Homefront where Waddell was the guest speaker. She was amazing. She shared everything she experienced from being a newlywed until her husband retired. She changed the names of duty stations to reflect the emotions she felt at that point in her husband’s career, places like Fort Fantasy, Camp Confusion and Anger Airfield. Every spouse in attendance could relate to at least one of those emotions. Waddell has since written another book, “When War Comes Home.” For more on Hope for the Home Front, visit www.whenwarcomeshomeretreats.com.

            Mollie Gross with Military Wife Comedy

            There is no better way to celebrate the military spouse than with a dose of laughter and there is no better military spouse comedienne than Mollie Gross. Author of “Confessions of a Military Wife,” Gross started her stand-up career after her husband deployed for the first time. Since then, she has brought laughs to military installations around the country with her shows and book. The wife of a Marine veteran, Gross also works as a motivational speaker, helping to empower spouses everywhere. You can find her website at www.molliegross.com.

            These spouses demonstrate what it means to be a military spouse, sharing the positive side of the lifestyle, but not neglecting the darker side rarely seen by civilians. They are an example we can all aspire to — being there to share our own stories and show that no military spouse is alone in what they feel or endure.

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Sarah Peachey is a 20-something journalist from the northeast, living in the Southwest near Fort Huachuca, AZ with her husband, two furbabies and a baby on the way. She began a career in journalism with The Fort Polk Guardian, an installation newspaper, winning two state awards for her work, and now freelances for military spouse support sites. She is an active blogger on MilitaryOneClick and her blog, “Stetsons, Spurs and Stilettos” 

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For more of Sarah’s fabulous blogs, click here.

 

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