When I said, “I do” three years ago, I wasn’t just joining my husband in marriage, I was also joining the ranks of military spouses all over the world. These men and women have answered their spouses call to serve by holding firm the Homefront. The women I have met have come beside me through deployments, driven me to the ER, and been there when life is just too hard. 

Here’s to you. 

Here’s to smiling during goodbyes, and crying as soon as you get to your car. 

Here’s to playing mom and dad for months at a time. 

Here’s to becoming way more handy with a tool kit than you ever anticipated because things seem to breakdown about the same time you do, in the middle of a deployment. 

Here’s to quietly celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas alone. 

Here’s to knocking on your neighbor’s door and asking if they’ll be your child’s emergency contact because you just moved in, know no-one, and need to register them to school. 

Here’s to sitting alone in church. 

Here’s to loving a man so much you’d move anywhere to be with him, only to have him answer duty’s call and leave you behind in a brand new place. 

Here’s to making friends quickly. 

Here’s to planting roots and making this new city “home” only to pull those same roots up 24 months from now. 

Here’s to crying when he leaves, because adjusting to the new normal is hard. 

Here’s to crying when he returns, because adjusting to the new normal is hard. 

Here’s to dropping everything at the drop of a hat to take a fellow spouse to the ER when her husband’s gone because, well, you’ve been there too. 

Here’s to never knowing what to say when someone asks where home is. 

Here’s to pulling everything together during each and every move. 

Here’s to remembering that things are just things even as your cry over the tea cup from your grandma that the movers shattered. 

Here’s to cringing every time someone makes a poorly timed joke about military spouses being notorious adulterers. 

Here’s to cringing every time you hear of yet another case of adultery in your husband’s unit. 

Here’s to canceling your vacation plans because of an unexpected deployment. 

Here’s to watching the news obsessively because you want to know what’s happening. 

Here’s to avoiding every bit of news because it’s just too overwhelming. 

Here’s to months without even a phone call. 

Here’s to reminding yourself that no news is good news. 

Here’s to praying the doorbell never rings.

Here’s to knocks at the door with Starbucks and flowers when a friend knows he’s just been gone too dang long. 

Here’s to sitting around at 2am waiting for a homecoming that’s already been rescheduled 4 times. 

Here’s to swelling with pride (and let’s be real, tears) every time you hear the national anthem. 

But most of all, here’s to the spouses who bear the title, “Gold Star.” For you, this is not just a season to get through but a cross you will bear every day. May we always honor your sacrifice, remember your loss, and stand beside you. 

Bailey Suzio

Bailey Suzio’s journey started out in Michigan, where she grew up as the oldest of 10 (yes, ten) children, and has led her to Hawaii with her husband and their two dogs. She has greatly enjoyed this opportunity to explore the history and culture of the Hawaiian islands. In addition to her love for the Lord and her family, her great passions are coffee and collecting an exorbitant amount of books. Bailey has spent the last few years teaching and working with a local church. She writes at http://thethinplace.net/ about her life, faith, and infertility journey.