This week the Vicenza military community will join the Department of Defense in honoring military spouses. More than a half-million spouses currently support our Army in variety of ways; from directly caring for our warriors to maintaining our communities on the home front.

First celebrated in 1984, Military Spouse Appreciation Day is held each May on the Friday prior to Mother's Day. On Monday, May 11, at the Arena, an event for spouses will feature cooking demonstrations, lunch and shopping.

From the American War of Independence to now, military spouses have supported our Soldiers and our missions - especially those who volunteer their time, said Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, commander of U.S. Army Africa, during a May 1 ceremony, which recognized community volunteers - many who are military spouses.

"They serve and sacrifice in their own way," Garrett said. "So it's important that we recognize their vital role in our community - not just once a year. Military spouses make positive differences every day, a fact we recognize and honor this week."