SBD 3 Highlights Rachel Coon for National Military Spouse Appreciation Day Published May 11, 2023 By SBD 3 Public Affairs Space Base Delta 3 LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Q: How long have you been married? A: It will be 20 years this Sunday, May 14. Q: How long has your spouse been in the service? A: 13 years. Q: Have you ever served in the military? If so, in what capacity? A: I have not served personally in the military but grew up as a military child and was born in Germany. My dad was on active duty until I was 14 years old. Q: What is their rank and role in the service? A: My husband, Cameron, is a Major and an engineer for the U.S. Space Force. Q: Has your spouse ever been deployed? If so, how did that affect your family? A: Yes, my spouse has been deployed and in fact, just came back April 29 from a six-and-a-half-month deployment to Qatar. I went into the deployment thinking it would be easy. I'm fairly independent and my four children are all older, ages ranging from 12 to 18, and one of my children drives, which I thought would be helpful, but I soon found out that no matter the age or stage of life you are in, deployment is hard. I was now doing all my husband’s usual home-related chores and tasks such as yard work, taking care of the cars, driving for road trips, and other things plus mine, which would make anyone exhausted. I compared it to being a single mother, but still married and very much still in love with him. I would tear up driving just thinking about him and missing him. Everything that could go wrong while he was gone did. From being in car accidents to breaking the lawn mower to the more serious stuff, like grandparents finding out they have stage 4 cancer to a family member passing away from cancer. How did we survive? We had lots and lots of help. Friendly neighbors lending us their lawn mower, or even their cars. There was even a silver lining in the death of our family member because that meant my husband got to return to the states (not California) to attend the funeral and then went back out. Q: Has being married to a military member provided opportunities for you and your family? If so, can you describe them? A: Opportunities, yes! We have met so many wonderful people along our journey we would have otherwise never known. We have been able to serve and help others by joining different spouse groups. Q: Describe a challenge associated with being a military spouse. A: The biggest challenge is being so far away from family. My closest family member is a 16-hour drive away. It makes it hard for them to be here for us and during our big moments and vice versa. Q: What advice do you have for new military spouses? A: My biggest advice when moving to a new location (because you will be moving) is to say “yes” to every invite you get at first. If someone invites you over for dinner or to go on a walk, say “yes.” You can decide later if that friendship is a good match, but I can't tell you how many good things have happened to me because I was willing to give it a try and said "yes!" The friendships you make while in the military will mean the world to you and will become your family while you are away from yours.