Not All Heroes Wear Uniforms
Image Source: mtti.org
Growing up I was (and still am) super close to my cousins, especially my cousin Derek. At 18 he enlisted in the Marines and the next thing I knew, he called me to let me know he was going on a “vacation to a beautiful tropical place… called Afghanistan.”
He always made light of the situation, whether it be another four years in the Middle East or a last minute “all-inclusive trip to Iran!” duty called and the last thing he wanted was for his friends and family to worry while he was out protecting us.
While I always admired his bravery, I constantly had his mother and girlfriend on my mind. My Aunt Karen gave the biggest sacrifice a mother can give, her first born son. No matter the situation, over the course of his eight-year “vacation” she and his girlfriend only showed pride, never fear.
Derek has since returned home, but many of his friends are still serving. A few weeks ago, I watched one of Derek’s friend’s wives Facetime her husband with their baby in her arms. While her husband was able to fly home just in time for the birth of his son, less than 24 hours later he had to return to duty and hasn’t held his child since.
As I watched the baby’s face light up when he saw his father’s face on the other end of the screen, I couldn’t help but tear up. While Derek and his friends are an amazing support system to all the wives, this woman is essentially raising a baby by herself while her husband is overseas, yet she did not show one sign of distress or fatigue.
While I’m still figuring out what I can do to help, it’s always refreshing seeing big corporations help start the conversation. Recently, LinkedIn uncovered that the average military family moves to a new installation every two to three years, leaving around 220,000 military spouses economically displaced every year. Just let that sit for a minute.
In an effort to better the situation, they’re offering free premium memberships, including access to more than 12,000 “LinkedIn Learning” courses which, according to this Adweek article, help military spouses “succeed in flexible, freelance or remote work opportunities.”
It’s about time we start recognizing this group of heroes and bettering their lives while they’re giving the ultimate sacrifice to better ours. Hats off to you LinkedIn, may others follow suit.
Posted by Christina B.