Recently our Family Readiness Officer sent us the following:
In the past, little recognition was given to the trials and tribulations of the service wife who made it possible for her husband to pursue his service career for the benefit of our nation. In the last decade, the stress and strain on the family has perhaps been greater than ever before. The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation strongly believes community support and public awareness of the service and sacrifice of the military wife and family is important.
The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation has created the Irene Ferguson Marine Wife Recognition Award in memory of Irene Ferguson, wife of Major Glenn Ferguson, United States Marine Corps (Retired).
The spirit of this award is captured in the words of Major Glenn Ferguson below:
“My wife’s passing gave me pause to reflect on the nearly six and a half wonderful decades we shared together. In doing so, I realized that in all the museums I had visited, all the parks I had walked through, and all the buildings I had been in, none included a tribute honoring the life of commitment and sacrifice made by service wives in support of their husbands. Their men frequently left for distant lands where they usually lead busy lives; sometimes in exciting or dangerous times. Many were awarded medals and received accolades from their fellow servicemen. Their feats were often extolled in the newspapers and magazines. Unsung were the wives left behind. These steadfast women nurtured and educated their children, cared for them in times of sickness, and soothed their fears when daddy was gone. There are no medals or monuments to attest to their trials, tribulations, and victories.”
And he's right, we don't have awards nailed to the walls of our homes and there's not a wall with our names dedicated to the sacrifices we've made. We don't have medals or ceremonies honoring the lives we've lead. Those things don't exist for the "silent ranks". Or do they?
I believe they do. They're called pictures. And I have mine proudly hanging on the walls, neatly placed on shelves, and arranged on my desk at work. My favorite one reminds me that no matter the sacrifice, the distance, the time apart, the reward is priceless.