For those of you reading this who may not be a military spouse, take a minute and imagine living with someone who cannot sit relaxed in a movie theater or who must leave a restaurant without eating because the only table available doesn’t allow for their back to be towards a wall. Put yourself in the shoes of the spouse who understands what the word sacrifice truly means. She loves someone who will always put honor and country first, and who has spent years with most aspects of their life being determined by “the convenience of the government”. Imagine the feelings, and often the heartache, of being awakened in the night by nightmares that aren’t your own. The experience of not being able to drive over a bridge without witnessing paralyzing fear and feeling helpless as your hero cries is often a regular part of a military spouse’s life. These types of issues bring additional strain to a marriage far above the normal underwear on the bathroom floor.
Military spouses are found all around our community but you may not realize who they are. They range in age, experience, personality, culture, and appearance, but all share common ground. Some of these spouses were by the side of their veteran throughout their military service and received some formal preparation, although never enough, through the military branch under which they served. Others met their veteran after their military service and married into a life without really understanding what it would be or what it meant. Marrying someone with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or physical injuries, amputation for example, bring additional layers of difficulty and can lead to the spouse being a full-time caregiver. Many spouses sacrifice a great part of themselves for the care and support of the veteran they love.
These are the spouses who are welcomed at the Warrior Resource Center. For them, it is about connection and understanding. They are creating a military family in a community far away from a post or base. Here, you learn you aren’t alone with these problems. Experience and support are abundant. Here, a spouse feels cared for and welcomed. This is what the support at the Warrior Resource Center really means.
Some military spouses have discovered the Warrior Resource Center on their own; others learned about it from their veteran. There are some who come with another spouse who has already connected with the organization. New friendships are made that carry beyond the walls of the WRC and offer constant emotional support and understanding. Every spouse is welcome to attend and socialize. They represent all the eras, all the branches, all abilities; they are the military families of the Western Slope.
**Statistics courtesy of VA website