From the NFRW Armed Services Committee
In 1984 Republican President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the Friday prior to Mother’s Day as Military Spouses Day, and 15 years later it became an annual observance in recognition of the essential contribution of spouses to the morale and well-being of military members, whether assigned at home or on deployment. This year we will celebrate on May 7.
Military spouses come from various backgrounds and all the states, territories, and other nations. With the frequent change of station transfers, spouses and children must be prepared to pack up and move to wherever the military member is sent. Sometimes they must stay back home and endure long separations, holding the family together, paying bills, maintaining the household, and educating the children all on their own. When the deployment is completed, the returning spouse must reintegrate into the daily routine.
Many adjustments and accommodations are needed, and that is where military spouses excel. Some spouses have a good idea of what lies ahead when they marry a military member since they were raised in a military family. However, there are some that have to learn as they go, which can be a great awakening to their new military community. What these new spouses often find is a community of other spouses standing-by ready to assist.
Spouses are not all the same. Some are male, some female, some are two service members married to each other and sadly, some are widows and widowers.
Hawaii Federation of Republican Women has a large presence of military spouses in their clubs who are active serving others in the local community. For example, Helene Webster, Aloha Honolulu Club, is the Deputy Treasurer of the Hawaii Republican Party and assists her retired Navy husband, Mark with his duties as president of Hawaii Aloha Chapter, Military Officer’s Association of America (MOAA). Susan Duffy also a member of the Aloha Honolulu Club is a retired Army LTC married to retired LTC Kent Duffy. Susan keeps busy as President of a local non-profit and has written Resolutions for our Republican Legislators. Hildegard Borowitz, a member of the Leeward Club who was born and raised in Germany, is widow to Marine Officer and stays busy helping other military widows as a leader of the Society of Military Widows Aloha Chapter 25. Associate member Brett Kulbis, Navy retiree, of the Leeward club, serves as Honolulu County Republican Party Chair while his wife takes care of the home front.
We are indebted to our military spouses and appreciate them very much. Many of us will be celebrating the contributions of our military spouses not only on this special day but also throughout the year.