Military Spouse Appreciation Day 2013

Military Spouse Appreciation Day 2013 is Friday, May 10.

How will you honor the military spouses you know?

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan began a tradition of setting aside the Friday before Mother's Day as a special day to honor our nation's military spouses.

Thank a Military Spouse

You may be wondering -- "How do I show my appreciation? I wouldn't know what to say."

Honoring a military spouse doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. Sometimes the most appreciated gifts or gestures are the simplest.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Offer to babysit (for free) for a few hours so they can have some "girl time" or "guy time," to do whatever it is they need or want to do, without little ones in tow. A military husband would appreciate this as much as a military wife.
  • Offer to walk the dog, just to give her that extra 20 or 30 minutes to do something else.

  • Offer to mow the lawn, or help with some project her husband can't do because he's not home.
  • Guys, offer to go with her to get her car serviced, or take the car for her, so the service garage won't try to rip her off just because she's female.
  • Give her a gift certificate to get her nails done, or for some other spa service, just to pamper herself.
  • Take her out to lunch, or a nice dinner if you can afford it.
  • Just say "thank you." You'd be surprised how much this little gesture is appreciated. If you don't know what to say, you can try something like this: "Thank you for your husband's (wife's) service, and thank YOU for your support of that service. We appreciate the sacrifices your family makes in support of our freedom."

    They may be embarrassed and try to tell you their spouse does the harder job, but don't let them fool you. It's hard enough as a Navy wife, for example, to be left behind for six months when her husband goes on a routine 6-month deployment in peacetime. It's infinitely harder when he's deploying to a war zone for a year or more, and you worry that he might not come home.

Those should give you some ideas for Military Spouse Appreciation Day (or any other day). Just try to put yourselves into their shoes and ask what you would want/need in the same situation.

If you'd like to suggest some other ways to show your appreciation for a military spouse, or if you ARE a military spouse and would like to tell us what you'd REALLY like, scroll down to the bottom of the page for the form, and share your ideas.


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As long as there have been courageous men and women willing to protect our Union and our ideals, there have been extraordinary spouses at their side -- patriots in their own right who serve and sacrifice in ways many cannot fathom. They are moms and dads who take up the work of two during deployments, shuffling their careers and packing up their lives whenever our Nation calls. They are dedicated employees at our businesses, committed volunteers in our communities, and essential caretakers for our wounded warriors. America's military spouses are at the core of our Armed Forces, and on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, we celebrate their contributions to keeping our country safe.

Just as we are bound by a sacred obligation to care for our men and women in uniform, we are equally responsible for making sure their loved ones get the support they deserve. My Administration has taken steps to uphold that special trust, from investing in childcare and education for military families to providing mortgage assistance for military homeowners. Through First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden's Joining Forces initiative, we have partnered with the private sector to expand hiring for military spouses and veterans.

We have also called on States to streamline credentialing and licensing procedures that hinder too many military spouses when they move from duty station to duty station. Military spouses with professional experience should not have to wait for work, and our businesses should not have to go without their skills. By simplifying the certification process, we can help ensure the financial stability of our military families, strengthen our Armed Forces, and spur growth throughout our economy. To learn more and get involved, visit

In the past few years, we have seen every part of our society come together and make a real commitment to supporting our military families -- not just with words, but with deeds. Yet, we must do more to honor the profound debt of gratitude we owe our military spouses. Their strength and resolve reflects the best of the American spirit, and on this occasion, let us pledge once more to serve them as well as they serve us.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 10, 2013, as Military Spouse Appreciation Day. I call upon the people of the United States to honor military spouses with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


How to Show Your Appreciation for a Military Spouse

Tell us what you would do, or have done, to show your appreciation for our military spouses.

And if you ARE a military spouse, tell us what you would like for someone else to do to show their appreciation.

Your submission grants us an exclusive, irrevocable and royalty-free license to publish your comments in any medium.

More relevant pages for Military Spouse Appreciation Day:

Do you know who is the world's most famous military spouse?

Top Military Spouse Friendly Employers

Military Spouses are Heroes, Too!

Are you a Military Spouse who has something to say? We'd love to have you as a guest author! Submit an article, join us as a regular contributor, or just Sound Off about something that's on your mind. Join the conversation.

Find more useful resources for military spouses and families at Military Homefront.

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