Armed Forces Day – Families serve too

  • Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2024, 12:50 pm

Celebrating Armed Forces Day
.Celebrating Armed Forces Day

Being part of a military family has challenges and benefits unique to military service. Our servicemembers give up a lot of freedoms to protect our nation, but so do the families supporting them. These families are often unrecognized for their role in service to the nation. They often don’t have a choice regarding where they will live and work. The servicemember is deployed for months at a time, leaving the family behind to deal with the home front.

That longing for togetherness as well as concerns for safety are heightened when the servicemember is deployed to a combat environment.

“The most challenging part of being a military family is when the servicemember gets deployed to a remote location and communicating is very limited,” said Lisa H., information specialist in CNS Communications at Y‑12. “This is especially challenging when the remote location is in a war zone. When your family member is away, you try to keep busy with day‑to‑day challenges of life, but your mind is always on the one deployed.”

Those extended deployments can stress the family environment, but they also create opportunities.

Y-12er Rose R. stands with her husband, Major Brennan R., at his promotion ceremony.
Y‑12er Rose R. stands with her husband, Major Brennan R., at his promotion ceremony.

Rose R., Y‑12 administrative assistant for Nuclear Safety, describes her life as an adventure.

“Being a military family is different to lives as nonmilitary families, as expectations for your level of flexibility and resiliency are much higher than in regular civilian life,” Rose said. “We have moved 7 times in the past 14 years to places like Vicenza, Italy; Tunis, Tunisia; and my husband is currently stationed in Mali. It can be difficult to plant deep roots anywhere, but you have roots far and wide, across the U.S. or the world, wherever your posts may be.”

Like their active‑duty counterparts, many military families develop deep bonds with other families where they’re stationed.

“Your military friends and associates become your family members, especially when serving overseas,” Lisa said. “You are in a small, remote group with the same purpose. They are family you will always maintain contact with, just as you would your immediate family. If you need help, your ‘family’ will be the ones there to assist.”

The bond that military family members who work at Pantex and Y‑12 share also strengthens their sense of pride to be part of the sites’ missions, knowing the work they do directly affects their servicemembers’ lives.

As both seen and unseen sacrifices continue to be made daily for the protection of our nation, Pantexans and Y‑12ers would like to say “thank you” to all active servicemembers, veterans, and military families for all they give in service to this country.