One of the neat things about the military is you can tell more or less what a service member has done in his or her career. As a spouse, I have enjoyed learning about the various patches, vibrantly colored ribbons, and impressive shiny badges.
It is also good to know when I am talking with someone who has a lot of experience and seniority or who has accomplished a particularly noteworthy or brave feat.
We spouses do not have multi-hued resumes that we wear upon our chests, thank goodness! I can barely get myself and the baby dressed in the morning, let alone properly assemble ribbons and medals on a uniform. Imagine, though, for a minute, what it might look like if we did...
A friend showed me a site where you can get ribbons for the length of time you have breastfed and include them in your signature file on discussion boards. And many units already award pins, medals, and medallions to spouse volunteers.
So, why not military-style awards for MilSpouses, designed by MilSpouses, for real life MilSpouse experiences?
Imagine you walk into a meeting and a more experienced spouse immediately takes you under her wing. "Over there, that's so-and-so...she may only be 23, but THAT patch means she was a MilBrat. And notice the stripes on her sweater--her husband has been deployed over seas for more than six months three times already!"
"What is up with the shiny vacuum-shaped pins on the ribbons?"
"Oh, you get a bronze one for one or two major appliances breaking during a deployment. Silver is for three to five, or a car getting completely totaled."
We could give out awards for injuries suffered while doing a task your spouse normally does. Awards for the number of packages sent. And so on...
No, I really am not proposing this, and I don't really want a medal or a monument (as we used to say in the school yard), but I thought it might be fun to think of some imaginary MilSpouse ribbons and medals.