Sometimes military life wears me down. Yes, there are aspects of this lifestyle that I appreciate, but there have been times when I wondered if I was cut out for military spouse-hood, when I was ready to beg my husband to get out and find a civilian job that kept our family intact and rooted in one location for the long term.
But those moments passed. I recovered. I became resilient.
Military families hear the word “resilient” a lot. Our servicemembers need to be resilient in order to carry out their missions. Family members need to be resilient in order to support their servicemembers. And as much as I wish someone would find a synonym to add some variety to the mix, I realize that “resilient” is probably the best word to describe what military families must aim to be. We need to recover readily from adversity. We need to spring back and rebound. We need to be flexible, strong, and irrepressible all at the same time.
That’s where this week’s MilSpouse quote comes in:
Once there’s a servicemember in the service, it’s the entire family that goes along with it. We have to keep everyone resilient.That’s what Gary Sinise told me yesterday before going on stage to perform a free "Tribute to the Troops" concert hosted by the Flagship newspaper with the rest of the Lt. Dan Band in Portsmouth, Virginia.
And that’s one of the reasons this actor, musician and avid supporter of the military travels around the world to perform for servicemembers and their families.
“My participation is in the mental health area,” he said. “I show up. I try to raise spirits. And I try to show support and appreciation.”
If you’re ever attended a Lt. Dan Band concert, you know that’s exactly what he does. As I scanned the audience last night, I saw military children dancing in the aisles, young sailors clapping to the beat, spouses having a fun night out with friends and veterans proudly sporting weathered Navy ball caps. If anyone in that audience was feeling down and out before the show, they certainly weren’t feeling that way afterward.
Resilience was restored for everyone.
The concert was more than good music. It was a chance to bring military families together. It was a chance to feel that our service to this country isn’t forgotten. It was a chance to feel acknowledged, supported and appreciated. And it was a chance to let loose and have fun.
We all need a reminder every now and then that we’re capable of bouncing back from the tough times we often face as military families. Whether that reminder comes from our circle of MilSpouse friends, a family program on base, or a rockin' 2-hour concert, we all need it. From the military child to the veteran, we have to keep everyone resilient.