Sunday was Mother’s Day. Well wishes and Happy Mother’s Day greetings were abundant. I heard friends and neighbors saying it in passing. I watched my social media feeds fill up with fond descriptions of what Mother’s Day means as stories of strength and sacrifice were shared.
It got me thinking about all the moms out there who are connected to the military. Military moms come in all different shapes and sizes. There are mothers of service members. There are military spouses who are also mothers. There are mothers who are also service members. And they are the maternal figures who support, guide and mentor our military spouses.
The mothers of our service members have a different experience. There is distance, but it is different than if you are a spouse. You may not see your son or daughter each day, but the distance becomes a little bit bigger when you are living through a deployment. And for some of those family members of our young soldiers, this is may be the first time they have been away from home. It is an adjustment and one that is scary. It takes courage to navigate the distance while providing your son or daughter the strength from afar as they serve this great nation.
There are military spouses who are also mothers. This role encompasses so much. As your service members serves, you take on so many different roles and wear many different hats. With this comes a strength that is from deep within. It means you are often afraid but wear a smile. You may feel weak, but you put on a brave face. You may want to crawl into bed and just rest, but you are up and ready to volunteer. It means you stand up and stand tall.
There are mothers who also serve in our Armed Forces. They leave their families behind for our country. With this comes the willingness to sacrifice — serving the United States and being a mom is something I fiercely admire. You give up your time. You give up the time of your family. You give it up for something bigger. You give it as a gift for the greater good.
When I think of military mothers, there are many words that come to mind; courage, strength, sacrifice and pride.
As a military spouse whose mother lives clear across the globe, I have been blessed to have mentors who support and guide me. Most military spouses are far away from their families. We make connections and come to rely on our fellow military spouses to hold space in many different capacities, one of which is a motherly sort of way.
In my neighborhood, I am surrounded by the most amazing mothers. I watch as they advocate for their children and all the other military children out there by making sure all children are afforded education opportunities. I watch as they teach in our local systems to educate and grow not only our military children, but all the children of this local community to be knowledgeable, confident and kind. I watch as they support their neighbors and friends no matter what.
The love, passion and drive is what keeps our military moms going. It is how our families are held together no matter the distance and separation. This life isn’t easy but it is amazing. It’s one that fills my heart with joy. This life pushes you to persevere through trying times and celebrate every moment possible.
Reena O’Brien is a military spouse and Herald correspondent. She lives on Fort Hood.