Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Everything’s been up in the air lately and it can be a stressful time in our military households. Between deferred death benefits, basic pay, special pay, base fires, what’s going to be paid or not, what’s closed and what’s not, etc., has put us on edge. I know you see the military football teams playing on TV, Congress traveling around like it’s the ’90s, the former NFL players getting $700+ million for TBI and concussions for ineffective equipment (our wounded warriors aren’t privy to that I think) and events being held on base that you may not agree with because they appear to be bad timing. We’ll never fully agree on what’s fair nor have control over how others deem certain things priorities in the military (although we’d like to). Yet, out of the midst of the chaos, all over we’ve seen triumphant steel magnolia’s blossom in this time of uncertainty.

When the commissaries closed, military spouses banded together via Facebook, of course, to find the next best locations for coupon usage and stores even before Costco & Sam’s stepped up to offer their stores. Spouses were giving tips and hints to find the best deals all around towns everywhere. As the Camp Pendleton fire displaced hundreds of residents from their homes, military spouses saw a need and jumped at the chance to give back and provide diapers, water, food and a listening ear to their fellow spouses. That display of love, appreciation and graciousness regardless of rank, military branch or job was very inspiring.

We’ll never know what’s going on in Washington, D.C. and sadly may not be able to 100% depend on those who are supposed to look out for us. What we have seen over the past several weeks is that we are resilient and strong as a community. We’ve shown that we can and we will take care of each other regardless of whether Red Cross, FEMA or anyone else decides to show up (which we’re not holding our breath for by the way)!

When this is all said and done we are all military spouses. We each love our service members. We each have the same roller coaster feelings as they prepare for a deployment, go off on long training periods and then come home to us. Throughout this time, no one ever mentioned, “What rank is your husband before I help you out?” or “Ohhh, you’re not a ______ spouse?” There was pure and genuine intention through and through. We can all only hope that this camaraderie continues to endure considering the undetermined chaos ahead. Whether we have military balls or not is the least of our concerns right now considering we may not have the gas money to get to said balls. We can just take over a parking lot and turn on someone’s car stereo. Strong women, may you continue to be them, have other women around you that are them, encourage those who are not strong to become them and also raise the next generation of strong women.

keepinformed@militarypress.com! You can also follow my blog @ http://marinecorpswives101.wordpress.com/.

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crystalarriaga@militarypress.com'

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