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Team Osan recognizes, celebrates military spouses

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Allison Payne
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

When people think about the phrase ‘thank you for your service’, it is often associated with thanking a military member for their service to their country, while thanking their spouse may not necessarily be the first thought which comes to mind. For this reason, Military Spouse Appreciation Day was officially declared by President Ronald Reagan on May 23, 1984, when he signed Proclamation 5184.

Military Spouse Appreciation Day is dedicated to acknowledging the significant contributions, support and sacrifices of military spouses.

Kayt Dodd, Sarah Rolin and Martine Doleman are each proud spouses and members of Team Osan, whom cared to share a few words about their experience as military spouses.

“Spouse Appreciation Day is a day, which reminds us to stop and think just for a moment about how much has been given up to support the careers of our loved ones, the mission and the community,” said Kayt Dodd, military spouse. “It’s definitely nice to get an extra squeeze and to hear how much we are appreciated. Just like many holidays, we celebrate those around us who lift us up, give us joy and encourage us to always do our best. That’s what spouse appreciation day is about.”

Along with the unwavering support they provide, military spouses hold down their home fronts throughout deployments, training and various other commitments the missions may require, while their respective husbands or wives serve their country.

“Being a military spouse is like being the heartbeat of the family,” said Dodd. “We are always making sure things run smoothly, while working hard around the clock and most importantly, giving so much love every day. It’s special to me, because I really enjoy being a part of something so much bigger than I am, even if that means I’ll have to travel with the kids alone to a new country. Supporting my spouse and children in every way possible gives me so much pride and encourages me to work harder each day.”

Military spouses endure frequent and unexpected changes to their lives. They must prepare for the unknown, sometimes with just a few days’ notice.

“I think it’s important to recognize military spouses, because it can be a unique and isolating life,” said Lt. Col. Martine Doleman, 7th Air Force reservist and military spouse. “We manage to put down roots wherever the Air Force sends us. Some of us take a different career trajectory to support our spouses and that can be a hard realization. Setting aside a day for spouses shows that our support and actions within our community do not go unnoticed.”

Depending on their husband’s or wife’s committed length of service to the military, they may move several times in a span of a few years and these moves can be all over the world. With every move, they must find a new job, help their children adjust to new schools and figure out how to make their new assignment a home.

“One positive of being a military spouse is that I have friends all over the world,” said Doleman. “I’ve also met some amazing people here at Osan that have made my time here enjoyable. Another positive is experiencing selflessness from complete strangers. We PCS’d here in the middle of the pandemic, and my husband’s unit ensured we had everything we needed for quarantine and for our move to our new apartment. This made me want to reach out and help others, so they could have a positive experience like I did.”

When the three were asked if they had any advice to offer future or current military spouses, they each had a few words of wisdom to pass along.

“The biggest piece of advice I have is the phrase ‘you make it what it is’”, said Rolin. “Try your hardest to find good in every duty station, temporary deployment or deployment. Life will have its up and downs. That will be out of your control, but I believe you come out stronger and wiser every time. Learn from each base. Travel as much as you can, and most importantly, ask for help when you need it. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there and make new friends. You aren’t alone.”

Like Rolin explained, Doleman also agreed that it’s crucial to speak up and ask for help if needed.

“There will be hard days,” said Doleman. “Realize it’s ok to not be ok. Reach out for help or a listening ear when needed. Be sure to take care of yourself and be true to yourself.”

Dodd added the importance of taking advantage of the resources the military provides as well as figuring out what peaks your interests. She said she found her interest when her son joined the Cub Scouts, which motivated her to become more involved as a volunteer and now den leader of his troop.

“Being a new spouse can be a bit intimidating,” said Dodd. “The Air Force gives us so many resources and opportunities to get involved, so I always suggest attending events like the New Spouse Orientation meeting. Overall, just finding something you’re passionate about and getting involved in the things you enjoy the most is one of the best things you can do for yourself.”

Dodd, Rolin and Doleman agreed a simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way when recognizing military spouses.

“Being a military spouse is the best thing I’ve ever chosen to do,” said Sarah Rolin, military spouse. “At first, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. Over time, it has taught me so much about being a stronger person, having patience, asking for help and learning from everything and everyone around me. I’ve also learned to always look for the good in every situation. Silently serving and supporting the military has been an absolute pleasure that, if given the choice to go back in time, I would choose over and over again.”