A new year comes with much excitement, optimism, and positivity. In addition, it always brings a level of uncertainty for military families as we don’t always know what’s next in military life or what Murphy’s Law might throw our way next. Often times, we are not given the luxury of pertinent information too far in advance either.
Instead of sulking on the uncertainties in a new year, it’s important to keep an optimistic attitude. Therefore, here are five wishes for military families to rest upon in this new year:
1-May your first choice of assignment location be the one that is chosen by the DOD for your family.
There’s nothing worse than your spouse being voluntold for an assignment at an unfavorable location for the family. It’s also hard to not have any control over such a decision that is life-changing for the family unit. In this new year, my hope is that your first choice will be strongly considered and hopefully chosen for your family.
2-May your stress be low and your joy high.
The unpredictability of military life can cause an insurmountable amount of stress. Chronic stress is terrible for your health and can cause an array of problems. Self-care is essential to minimize stress, as is exercise, time outdoors in the fresh air, and a strong faith. In this new year, I hope your level of joy surpasses your stress level and you find ways to take care of your mental and physical health all year long.
3-May there finally be resolution to on base housing conditions.
Military Family Advisory Network (MFAN) brought military housing issues to light in 2019 with a survey. Then, a hearing with congress allowed military families to speak about those experiences on Capital Hill. These harsh living conditions prompted some harsh comments to the contracted companies who manage military housing across the United States. While many positive changes have occurred, there is still much more to be done. May 2022 bring about the changes needed to finally resolve housing conditions on military bases nationwide.
4-Military spouses, may your career troubles be changed with the open-door you need.
Military spouse employment has and always will be a hot topic. It isn’t easy to get your foot in the door, but with the efforts of organizations like Hiring Our Heroes, Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO), United Service Organization (USO), and Hire Heroes USA, job opportunities for military spouses have grown over the last few years. Sometimes, it’s all about the right contact. Other times, it may mean taking a few steps back in your career and salary level, in order to stay relevant in your field, so you can take a leap forward later on. In this new year, may you embrace employment challenges and keep your heart filled with hope that the right door will finally open for you.
5-May you find the safe, nurturing, affordable, and high quality child care your child/ren deserve.
When military families relocate far from their extended families and village, finding the right place to trust with their children can be quite a challenge. Because military bases are often far from major metropolitan areas, high quality childcare choices can be limited. Nevertheless, it’s important to do the research, take the tours, and scope out child care centers on and off the base with a critical eye. The National Military Family Association (NMFA), New Parent Support Programs within all branches of military, local Partnerships for Children organizations, and Child Care Aware all can assist in the daunting search for the care your children need and help connect you to resources that your family might need.
Every year brings with it a surmounting level of optimism mixed with uncertainty for military families across the world. My hope is that this new year will be filled with joy for your family, opportunities, and support in all the areas you need to help your family thrive and persevere.
© Strength 4 Spouses LLC, 2022.
Wendi Iacobello has been a military spouse for six years. She is a mother, freelance writer, and Instructional Designer. Her eleven year career in the education sector drives her passion to share inspiration and resources to educate and empower the military spouse community. When Wendi isn’t working or chasing her toddler around, you can find her on a bike, volunteering to end homelessness with The Bautista Project, and advocating for clean and safe parks in the state of Oklahoma.