• Scarlett Bauman, Fundraising and Marketing Manager

Military Spouses Like Sue are the Backbone of Our Armed Forces

Sue was living halfway around the world when she first laid eyes on the handsome young airman who would become her husband. Born and raised in Turkey, Sue fell in love with Albert, who was stationed there. After saying her vows on their wedding day in 1957, Sue was prepared for the sacrifices that military life would bring.

Leaving behind her loved ones in Turkey, Sue and her family would move frequently, from base to base, during Albert’s 30 years of service to our country. “It was somewhere new about every 18 months on average,” Sue shared.

While Sue enjoyed living in new places, she says it was hard on her son and daughter to change schools so often, make new friends, and start over again and again. “It was difficult for them,” says Sue. “There was one time when we moved four times in just one year.”

When you think of “sacrifice” and the military, you might think of war and the ultimate price being paid by a brave service member for our freedom.

But the smaller contributions and sacrifices made by military spouses – and the readiness to give – are also admirable. Spouses like Sue are quiet heroes – they too serve our country through their commitment and support in helping to keep America strong and safe.

The greatest sacrifice for Sue and her children was the loss of Albert in 1999. After a wonderful marriage of 42 years, Albert died from an illness caused by exposure to Agent Orange during his military service in Vietnam.

Sue is proud to be a citizen of the United States.

“Even though I wasn’t born in America, I would die for this country.”

It’s true, military life can be difficult and stressful for everyone in the family. Spouses and children are often required to frequently move – changing jobs and schools, leaving behind friends and support systems again and again. They constantly worry about the safety of their loved ones in uniform. And many military spouses give up their own careers, their own dreams, while holding down the home front and waiting for their hero to return from service.

Military spouses like Sue are the backbone of our armed forces. They give of themselves and give up time with their loved ones so that we are kept safe and out of harm’s way.

Join us in saluting military spouses on a very special day, May 7, 2021, National Military Spouse Appreciation Day.