We get you. We see you. We know what you do. We know what you sacrifice. We know that you hold down the home front. We know that you change jobs or gave up one you loved dearly. We know you wait, hope, and pray for the safe return of your loved one. We know you move constantly. We know you have to say more hellos and goodbyes than most people. We know that you have to maintain a long-distance relationship via technology. We know you wait, dressed up for hours, at military homecomings, quietly hoping that you two are still compatible. We know you’re the one who knows every detail about your children while your spouse has to get acquainted again and again.

So why then do we say, “I’m just a military girlfriend/boyfriend,” “I’m just a military spouse” or “I’m just married to a veteran”? 

You’re the Magic Ingredient

We know there is so much more that happens behind the scenes. We know that you are the glue that keeps it together, the one who knows where every PT belt, ID, or cover is, and where important documents are located. You’re the one who — no matter how stressed or worried you are — facilitates a relationship between your kids and your spouse while he or she is away. We know that there are some days you just need to stay in bed, have your hair up, order food in, and come back swinging the next day. You’re the one who your service member fights for and dreams of returning home to.

It’s Not How You Pictured

There are those of us who served and decided to leave the service, but who are still married to someone in uniform. There are those who never dreamed of marrying someone in the military, and have that uncomfortable struggle of also being “married” to Uncle Sam. There are those of us who were excited to be a milso, but find that some days it doesn’t play out like Hollywood has us believe.

What We Love About You

You are more than “just a girlfriend/boyfriend/fiance/spouse/dependent” — you are an incredible, adaptable person, who goes through more than most of your civilian counterparts. Just because you personally didn’t sign on the dotted line, don’t wear a uniform, don’t go off to war zones, (or perhaps you did), it doesn’t mean that your lifestyle isn’t affected by being married to someone in the military. 

You fight separation, anxiety, loneliness, change, the unknown, and you do this all while somehow adapting your life again and again. No matter what you face, you still show up. It isn’t always easy, it isn’t always pretty, you don’t always feel successful, but something in you refuses to quit. You are beautiful, you are tenacious, and we see you!

Next time, before you say, “I’m just a military girlfriend,” “I’m just a military spouse,” “I’m just married to a veteran,” please take a good hard look at all you have been asked to do. We see you, appreciate you, and support you! You’re just amazing!




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A self-described “Jackie of All Trades,” former Army wife Jackie Toops enjoys exploring the various facets of her personality by chronicling military life, world travels, family, her love of the arts and more. Her academic background is in the fields of Interdisciplinary Humanities, Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management, and she has overseen public relations for museums, galleries and universities. Jackie’s articles have been featured on Army Wife 101, Wall Street International Magazine, SoFluential, HomeAway, Military Biz Connection and FamiliesGo. While stationed in Germany, she regularly discussed her articles on-air with the Armed Forces Network in Wiesbaden. A mother of two, Jackie enjoys coffee, freelance writing, languages and discovering new ways to express herself. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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