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NEWS | May 10, 2012

Military Spouse Appreciation Day marks sacrifices, dedication of military spouses

By Cpl. Thomas Bricker, U.S. Marine Corps Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow

BARSTOW, Calif. - Military Spouse Appreciation Day, typically held on the Friday before Mother's Day, provides an opportunity to not only honor the husbands and wives of service members, but also to say thank you.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day began on May 23, 1984, when then-President Ronald Reagan made a proclamation to recognize the hard work done by military spouses every day. The eventful day is celebrated throughout the United States and on military installations worldwide.

Military spouses have been known for their strength through deployments.

"My husband has been in for a total of 17 years and I find such pride in what he does for us," said Melanie Morales, a Marine Corps family team building administrative assistant and whose husband is a sergeant first class with the Army National Guard at Fort Irwin, Calif. "Not everyone is cut out for the job they do, but being a part of it is important."

Morales has been through two major deployments with her husband, the first being to Bosnia for seven months. The second deployment was to Afghanistan for 14 months. Having various means of communication made the distance and time apart from each other a little easier.

"Technology has definitely changed since his first deployment," said Morales. "We used to only have a few phone calls and letters, but since then [during the second deployment] we were able to Skype and have phone calls more frequently. I felt better being able to hear him more often."

And many service members greatly appreciate the strong support from spouses at home.

"Spouses do a lot for the service members," said Marine Corps Sgt. Jacey Marks. "I know that while I'm gone on deployments, I can trust that everything will be fine back home. I know that my kids are being taken care of and that my wife is handling everything in the best way possible."

That also makes deployments easier.

"I've gone on four deployments," said Marks. "One of the main things that got me through is receiving letters and phone calls. It makes you realize it's the little stuff that helps you get through everything. I know she's taking care of the family back home; she's strong."