Missey Payne is used to constant, and sometimes last-minute, changes.

“A lot of people don’t realize what we do,” said Payne, a military spouse. “The ups and downs, the waiting games, the spur of the moment changes, it’s a lot.”

Payne received support Thursday when she attended a military spouse appreciation luncheon at Club Hood. Army Community Service and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation hosted the event for more than 350 spouses.

“As long as there have been courageous men and women willing to protect our union and our ideals, there have been extraordinary spouses at their side — patriots in their own right who serve and sacrifice in ways many cannot fathom,” said President Barack Obama, who proclaimed Friday as Military Spouse Appreciation Day, in a news release. “They are moms and dads who take up the work of two during deployments, shuffling their careers and packing up their lives whenever our nation calls.”

Tammy Tysor, Army Family Team Building/Army Family Action Plan program manager, said it’s important for spouses to be recognized for “the day-in and day-out activities they do in support of their soldier who’s fighting for our country and serving our country to give us the freedom that we (have).”

Tysor said the event was a small token of appreciation for the “unsung heroes standing behind the line ... and doing everything they can to support their soldier so they can concentrate on the mission and do their job.”

Payne, who has been married more than a decade, attended the event last year while her husband, Spc. Jared Payne, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, was deployed and said it’s amazing that the installation hosts an annual event to honor spouses.

“It’s a beautiful contribution to the spouses,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”

Before last year’s event, Payne said she didn’t really socialize. The event helped her realize she wasn’t alone in the feeling she was going through while her husband was gone.

“I made a table full of friends,” she said. “I always knew I wasn’t the only one, but just that connection with other spouses at that moment, it did mean a lot.”

Fort Hood is Payne’s third post in the six years her husband has been in the military.

“The outpour that Fort Hood gives back to families is amazing,” she said. “A lot of people don’t like this base, but they put on so much for the children, the spouses, the soldier and the community.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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