1. They don’t just talk about supporting the troops, they actually do it, even when it’s difficult and painful.
2. Probably more than once, they have had to pick up their whole life and move it to a different part of the country — or even another country altogether.
3. They make the best care packages in the entire world, and know how to put a feeling of “being at home” into a cardboard box. (And they always know to include a little something for their husband’s friends.)
4. When their husband is gone, they have to play the role of both parents, and explain something as big and scary as war to a little person who just wants to know where their daddy is.
5. They know what it means to sacrifice for the person they love — their time, their hometowns, sometimes even their careers.
6. They have to deal with the questions and pressure of other military girls which, even though I love you ladies, can be pretty intense.
7. Whether it’s with their families back home, or their man who is currently deployed, they are masters of the Skype date and making it feel like you’re right next to each other even when you’re thousands of miles away.
8. They have spent a lot of time in the boy’s club of the military, having to hold their own as a woman and take care of the men who take care of their country.
9. Even though they might not agree with our country’s leaders, they have to accept the decisions that they make and put their personal life aside to carry out what needs to be done. (Yes, some military wives are even Democrats! Shocking, I know!)
10. They have to live with a lot of stereotypes about what it means to love someone who serves, and about those who serve themselves.
11. They often form huge communities while their husbands are away with other military wives, to help each other get through the long deployments and raise their families. They know what it means to form a village anywhere you go.
12. When they vote, they have to think long and hard about the person they are voting for, because it will have a direct effect on the people they love.
13. They manage to keep it all together during the month before their husband returns home, aka the month where everything goes wrong and there are a million things to plan all at once.
14. They are a single mom and a married mom all at the same time.
15. Even though many of them have degrees of their own, the thing they have to be most prepared to do is “do what’s asked of you, and take care of your family.” Some of them have never even had the chance to use their degrees.
16. They make the best food. Sorry, but it’s true. The dinner she cooks for her husband the night he comes home is like no meal you’ve ever seen.
17. They look damn good in their husband’s cover.
18. They still know how to write real letters, and wait for them to come back in the mail (the longest wait you will ever experience in your life).
19. They know the true meanings of the words “goodbye” and “welcome home.”
20. They live the ultimate long-distance relationship, and most of the time don’t even roll their eyes when a civilian wife talks about being away from her husband for a few long weeks or a month.
21. When it feels like they can’t go on anymore, like they miss their husbands too much and their personal sacrifice is too high, they have to keep going. We have all had those moments, and we’ve all cried into a pillow or a teddy bear or our babies, but we keep going. Because even though most people might never say “thank you,” this country needs us, and so do our families.