If you or your family need anything at all, we will be there.
If you are married or related to the military, you have heard this line more than a few times. Over the years, I have often felt that this is more of a scripted line. It is something that has to be said, not necessarily followed. Easy to say, not as easy to practice.
Sure, you make a meal when a family welcomes a baby. You may watch a pet while someone is away or volunteer to help with the kids during a deployment. Even as a Key Spouse, I feel that there is only so much I can or am allowed to do. We all have our own lives, families, and commitments; we are there to help one another, but we do not always need it nor offer it.
Then a crisis comes along – and I am reminded that when the going gets tough, our military community is a powerful and united family.
For example, a military spouse encountered very serious complications during childbirth. Without divulging too much information, this woman needed blood. The hospital takes much of its blood donations and ships it to combat regions. Because of this, it had a shortage that day. The word was put out to leaders of our squadron to see if any donations could be solicited from squadron members and their families. Word spread from active duty members to spouses, from spouses to other spouses, and from community to community. Within a few hours, the request for blood had been spread across Facebook pages and within the military community.
The response was unbelievable.
People were waiting for hours in line to donate blood. Buses were bringing groups of service members, and a room was set up in the donation center to watch children so moms and dads could donate as well. Food was purchased and shared. The donation center had to extend their hours and even turn away donors because their storage capacity was met so quickly! There was such a sense of community and responsibility for one of our own. I could not believe the immense response for a person who most of these people had never even met.
Why was I so surprised?
The military, whether we love each other or not, is one large and very extended family. We all have shared experiences of joy, loss, pain, sacrifice, and duty. We are united by our service and our community, and nothing unites us more than a crisis.
In an age where there seems to be so much division and frustration within our culture, it is refreshing to see that we can rise above all these differences for a common purpose. This experience was a nice reminder to myself and to others of how strong this community can be and how much we can rely on one another. That old phrase does not have to be a scripted line, and it clearly is not.
When a crisis with one of our own arises, there is no community better equipped to handle it than the military community. On this day, I felt more than proud to be a part of this military community – and so should you!