Pampered spouses
Military spouses enjoy an afternoon of free spa treatments and discount shopping during the 2008 Military Spouse Appreciation Day event hosted by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation at the Nehelani, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - The strength of our Soldiers comes from the strength of their families. Today, more than half the Soldiers serving are married and their spouses continue to routinely put the welfare of their Soldier, family and nation above their own.

To celebrate this backbone of support, the Army pays tribute to military spouses on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, May 8.

"We understand that military spouses deal with numerous hardships on a daily basis," said Aubrey Kiemnec, recreation program coordinator, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR).

"FMWR is extremely proud to put on an annual program to demonstrate just how much they are truly appreciated."

Military Spouse Appreciation Day started 25 years ago with a proclamation signed by President Ronald Reagan, who officially recognized Military Spouse Day. The commemoration is held the Friday before Mother's Day every year to show appreciation for the sacrifices of military spouses.

"Spouses and families are constantly sacrificing, but with the good comes the bad," said family member Marybeth Williams. "It depends on your perspective."

Williams said open communication has helped her and her children work together to support their Soldier. Additionally, Williams always takes advantage of every benefit and experience that is offered.

"Deployments are tough on families, but there is always support," said Williams.

Family member Lisa McCaffrey agreed.

"Deployments are the biggest challenge an Army spouse and family face today. No matter if it is your first, second or third, the challenge is there," said McCaffrey.

McCaffrey stated she used Blue Star Card benefits and attended activities to help her through her husband's recent deployment.

"All I had to do was show up and participate in the planned activity. After every event, I left with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart," she said. "It was great to be with other deployed spouses and enjoy an activity that required very little thinking and preparation on my part, but always included laughter and great memories."

The armed services are forever grateful for the support of military spouses, but on May 8, people Armywide will reach out with an extra dose of appreciation and simply say, "thanks" to the silent heroes of the Army.

Page last updated Fri May 1st, 2009 at 18:02