Commentary

March 29, 2012

Like Soldiers, spouses live Army Values

Jennifer Lindquest

We are beginning to pack up our first home as we get ready to travel to Georgia for school and then Korea for two years. As we started sorting piles for Georgia, Korea, storage and donation, it struck me that most civilian couples can go years without delving into the deep abyss that is the storage closet.

Military families are a different breed. I sometimes refer to myself as a gypsy, packing up our possessions and traveling to the next place unsure of what I will be doing for a living or what will be there to meet us when we arrive.

Marc and my yearly purge of forgotten clothing and unused gifts helps remind us where our values lie. Our value is not in the television that will be put into storage for two years, the house that was painstakingly decorated sitting barren except for furniture indents on the carpet or even the proudly purchased dining room set that is headed to storage due to weight limits.

Our values lie in the possessions and people we bring with us in our travels, our memories in the form of photographs, our history through inherited heirlooms and our family.

All the other items that may be distractions are thrown away, lost or discovered in a box years after they are forgotten.

While going through our closet, I found Marc’s Army Values card from basic training and was surprised at how many of these fit not only Soldiers but their family members. Although I don’t always live by the values like I should, I think it is important to remember loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage and how we as family members can embody these core values.

 

Loyalty

Spouses show loyalty by staying with their Soldier despite countless 24-hour shifts of staff duty, long days in the field and deployments. They stay because they promised they would and do their best to respect that promise.

They show loyalty by accepting the mobile lifestyle, the plans that could change at three o’clock in the morning and the missed holidays without too much complaint or urging a change in career.

 

Duty

Loved ones have the duty to support their Soldier, whether it is making lunch at four o’clock in the morning, encouraging them through a difficult school, writing a weekly letter to deployed loved ones or giving them time to relax after a long day in the field before handing them a to-do list.

 

Respect

Family members show respect by understanding the duties and commitment of the Soldier and not asking the Soldier to do what he cannot deliver such as asking them to leave the Army immediately. They learn the Army culture and use that knowledge to set a good example for others.

 

Selfless Service

A military family continually places the Army and the Soldier above their own career, their friends and their dream house with little complaint because they know their Soldier needs support and company more than the spouse or children need to stay behind to enjoy their material items.

They wait for their Soldier when they are deployed, even if it means taking on the Soldier’s household jobs and having little time to rest or spend time with others.

 

Honor

Families honor their Soldier by trying their best to live by the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, integrity and personal courage. Although they may not always say the right words or do the right action, they understand the Army values and the importance of following them for the sake of their Soldier and their relationship with that Soldier.

 

Integrity

Significant others embody integrity by following the rules of the Army. They make sure not to overspend and that the house can always pass a random inspection. They do what they can to not ruin the Soldier’s career or chance at promotion.

 

Personal Courage

Of all the values, I feel the spouse most embodies the characteristic of personal courage. Marrying a Soldier, especially in a time of war, takes personal courage. The nuclear family must learn to adapt quickly to their surroundings with little time for worry or anxiety. They begin their to-do lists, pack their survival kits, welcome the movers and do whatever they can to make the move as easy as they can. At the new duty station, they join groups and get involved as soon as possible despite the newness of the post.

Families send their wives, husbands, children, mothers and fathers off to Iraq with their full support because they know the Soldier must go.

 

Values not mandated

The values we follow as a Soldier’s support team are not Army-mandated like they are for Soldiers. We do not have a card telling us how to act and how to stand behind our Soldiers. Most of us do not have them memorized or even realize what we do follows an Army standard.

As I continue to stack our possessions into piles, I remember these values and that I, too, have a job to do for the military and I will try my best to support my Soldier and stay “Army Strong.”

 

(Editor’s note: Jennifer Lindquest is a military spouse who wrote a column, Military Mrs., for the “Fort Still Cannoneer” when her husband was assigned to the Oklahoma installation. Her articles will occasionally appear in “The Fort Huachuca Scout.”)




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Gabrielle Kuholski

Antiterrorism Exercise assesses installation readiness, reinforces important relationships

Gabrielle Kuholski First responders with the Fort Huachuca and Whetstone Fire Departments work together to get a wounded Soldier into an ambulance during the full scale exercise, Apache Warrior 2013, Tuesday. These first respon...
 
 

Labor Day Safety Message

Labor Day marks the traditional end of the summer season and celebrates the American worker and the contributions they make to our great country. I want to commend you on your efforts to control heat injuries through another hot summer. Your diligence and care for teammates contributed to an overall 20-percent decrease in accident fatalities...
 
 
Gabrielle Kuholski

VA clinical psychologist raises military sexual trauma awareness

Gabrielle Kuholski Michael Moore, Ph.D., military sexual trauma coordinator at the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Tucson, presents a session on military sexual trauma, or MST, in the Murr Community Cent...
 

 

Glass recycling now available in Sierra Vista

SIERRA VISTA – Clean glass bottles and jars can be dropped off for recycling at the new Sierra Vista Glass Recycling Depot as part of the city’s trial glass recycling project. The Glass Recycling Depot, located in the parking lot of the Pedro Castro Government Maintenance Center, is a glass collection point that is separate...
 
 
Maranda Flynn

FH Community Spouses’ Club accepting new members, shares plans for coming year

Maranda Flynn Fort Huachuca Community Spouses’ Club board members, Katrina LaDue and Lesley Hocker, (left foreground and background), assist new club members, Dana Edwards and Sandi Weishaupt, (right foreground and background...
 
 

Retiree Council shares news, notes Did you forget to care for your Family?

No one forgets to care for his or her Family on purpose. It just happens – more often than one might think when it comes to the military Survivor Benefit Plan, or SBP. Most often, retired Soldiers don’t know the federal law and the time limits it imposes on maintaining their SBP elections. If a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin