Military life is always a challenge, but we can all agree that 2020 has offered a special dose of problems. Yet despite it all, military spouses still rose to the call. And the year had its not-so-terrible parts, too. We’re not ready to call any of them silver linings, but even in the midst of things that pushed us to our max, there was some good to be found.
As we wrap-up the year, here are the top five military spouse things that we loved in 2020.
1. The times when we handled the pandemic like a boss.
You remember how it was early on: We united like our grandmothers did during World War II. We made masks like they rolled bandages. We took food to our front-line worker friends. (Some of whom are military spouses, actively saving lives.) We went food shopping for families quarantined in lodging when they had a permanent change of station (PCS). We sang from balconies, staged front porch photo shoots and shared many tears (and drinks!) via Facetime.
2. The time when we saw PCS reform.
Advocates for military families during PCS moves felt heard in March, when they were able to see real reform. In case you didn’t move this year and didn’t see it in action, here’s what you can continue to get excited about each time you get orders: Movers must now pass background checks from their employers, you will have 75 days to file claims and you’ll get alerts when your things are in transit.
3. The times when we felt all warm and fuzzy.
Sometimes, we have to find happiness in other people’s joy. Like when you have just sent your spouse off for a deployment, but your neighbor’s spouse comes home a week later. We had a couple of those fun stories this year, starting with this report of an Air Force pilot who proposed after launching a ring to space and a milspouse who surprised her kids in the middle of a photo shoot with an incredible photobomber. And who could resist a smile when the USS Abraham Lincoln returned to port after four extensions and a 10-month deployment, or when the USS Teddy Roosevelt finally came back into port? Not me.
4. The times when we tried new things.
We had a lot of unexpected time at home this year, which led some of us to try fun new things. We built home gyms, baked bread and tried new craft projects. Some of us read a lot of books, and others wrote books! Spouses started new businesses like this one that makes charcuterie boards, and others took their companies to new levels. There’s one common theme: Not much can stand in the way of a dedicated and inspired military spouse.
5. The times when we were given a little extra.
Many of us had big financial goals for the year, which came to a crashing halt when we had to virtually school our children while also trying to work. Many of us had to leave our jobs completely. So, when some freebies came along, we rejoiced. Like the free child care on Election Day so we could vote and then grab a coffee in peace. And don’t forget the extra $300 the Tricare Dental Program gave us for dental care this year, increasing our maximum benefit amount to $1,800 per person.
The rational side of our brains knows that some of this craziness will not end with the changing of the calendar (is yours still set to this past March?), but there’s no reason we can’t hope for the best next year.
Here’s to a bright new year!
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