If being a military spouse was anything like being a Girl Scout, we would have vests or sashes, and patches to go with them for every accomplishment or rite of passage we achieved. Some patches would be mandatory, some patches you would work hard for, other patches you would earn doing things you hated but were proud of nonetheless.
In my mind, the MilSpouse vest is a patriotic navy blue (plus that hides dirt well – and what MilSpouse has time to wash her vest?). Some patches are service specific, others are universal. There’s no reward or big prize for filling up the front of and back of your vest, except maybe bragging rights.
Another difference between us and the Girl Scouts: less selling cookies (although “family support group bake sale” is most certainly a patch) and more eating them (while earning one of the many “deployment” patches).
I’ve been thinking about what patches my sash would currently sport ever since reading through “1001 Things to Love About Military Life,” which I blogged about last week. Like I mentioned then, this is a book with a big ol’ list of things that I both love and love to hate about this lifestyle. If everything spouse-specific in that book had its own patch, think of all the “accomplishments” (or “trials by fire” … whatever you want to call them) we could sport!
The next patch I have my sights on is the “solo birth” patch, earnable only by soon-to-explode-with-child wives (sorry Male Spouses) of deployed or otherwise unavailable servicemembers. It’s one of these things that no one wants to earn, but many are willing to deal with and that I will, no doubt, wear with pride later.
And that brings me to the best part about the MilSpouse sash and patches: we choose to wear them with pride because, really, the only other option is to wear them with bitterness … and what fun is that?
To all those spouses out there earning their “first holiday deployment” patch, choose to wear it with pride and remember you are part of big club of others who have earned it before you.