My responses & thoughts regarding Bobbi Taylor's beautifully written Toughest job in the Navy and the question Do Military Spouses Serve, which directly relates to The Meaning of Sacrifice.
I agree [with Bobbi] to a point. I don't think being a military spouse is the toughest job, compared to what the service member deals with, and we will go to hell and back with the love of our life, no matter what career they choose. I disagree, however, that we're just plain ol' wives. We are resilient and strong, even when we don't want to be. We keep giving more even when we feel like giving up and giving in. We keep on trucking even when it feels like the truck is on its last life.
It isn't just about missed birthdays and anniversaries. It's about saving the country while the spouse is saving the family-dealing with crises at school and your child being transported by ambulance after an accident and keeping it together when you want to fall to pieces. It's about realizing that mom isn't the one the sons need, but dad isn't here, so you do your best and try to find surrogates, who are never truly the one the sons need-they never totally fill those shoes. And it's comforting your child after a police officer knocks on your door, and your child immediately thinks something bad happened to dad (because he doesn't know it wouldn't be the police coming to tell you).
It's facing your fears when the love of your life goes on deployment number 5, and finding a way to deal with mechanics or anything/anyone else that intimidates you because you don't have the expertise and yet the work must be done. It is that, as you say, that falling back on that old phrase, "No news is good news" when you haven't heard anything in a while; even though you think, "I should be used to this by now," you never really do.
No, I don't think we are just plain ol' wives. We are special. We are strong. We are resilient. And yes, we sacrifice a great deal to just keep on keepin' on.
I feel a rant coming on... I think that, typically, the wife/mother is the glue that holds together and keeps any household running effectively. Over and above that, my husband doesn't know what meds my kids are on, doesn't handle school issues, doesn't keep the grocery list, doesn't take care of his soldiers' spouses and families while he's home, let alone while he's gone. He doesn't track appointments, meals, or juggle computer/appliance repairs with UPS deliveries that require a signature. He doesn't make excuses to the neighbors why the yard isn't as kept as it should be, or jump into action when a soldier's kids from his exwife are suddenly thrust in the soldier's lap and his family needs clothing, a bed, and bedding, among other things.
In addition to being an Army spouse, I have worn the uniform, and am retired, and I can tell anyone, in no uncertain terms, that being the spouse is much more challenging than being the one in uniform.