3 min read
I was lucky to survive my tour of duty in the Marines.
I served in the 2000s when the U.S. and our allies were stretching across two theaters and countless battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, and I was in Iraq for two combat campaigns, including the tail end of the infamous surge.
I left the service before it was my turn to deploy to Afghanistan. Indeed, now, I can look back and say I was lucky to have survived Iraq while never having to serve in Afghanistan as well. At the time, however, I was eager to serve in both theaters like so many other service members. But that’s a different story, with themes of loss and loyalty.
As an active duty Marine, I was thanked by myriad people for my service, given discounts by nearly every corporation, and showered with accolades for my courage, commitment, and sacrifice. And leaving active duty, as a veteran, I’ve been lucky to be on the receiving end of similar sentiments and benefits. I’m grateful for all of this and assume many of my peers would say the same. But, there’s one part of the population that is underappreciated and, in turn, underserved. That’s military spouses.
Military spouses are invisible heroes. In many cases, barring the ultimate sacrifice, death, their courage, commitment and sacrifice may equal or exceed that of their partners.
Military spouses demonstrate courage, often not knowing whether their partner will return, knowing that, in times of war, it’s very possible that they won’t. They demonstrate commitment, sending love, encouragement, and care packages during deployments, while moving every few years to be where the service requires their partner to be. And military spouses often sacrifice opportunities to create their own careers and to establish personal financial independence.
These sacrifices may have been the cultural norms of years past, but today we must recognize it’s time to change. It’s time to recognize these often invisible heroes. It’s time to give them opportunities that will provide personal and financial growth. Doing so provides families with greater stability, as there’s a foundation of two incomes and multiples paths to success when one income is lost. Doing so is also a boon to the economy, filling vacancies and creating new jobs.
For these reasons in particular, family stability and economic prosperity, Just Mystic is supporting military spouses by giving 5% of our profits on specific product collections to Blue Star Families.
Blue Star Families’ mission is to empower military and veteran families to thrive by connecting them with their civilian neighbors, creating strong communities of mutual support. They do this through policy advocacy, innovative programs, and a network of more than 200,000 members.
Our first collection in this effort is our Coastie Collection of hoodies and crewneck sweatshirts, honoring our grandfather, who served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II, and our grandmother, who supported our grandfather during and after the war, especially as he was convalescing from a permanent debilitation.
We like to call Gram an OG coastie, and like so many coasties and other military spouses today, both during and after the war, she supported Grandpa with love and a little bit of entrepreneurship, hustling as a hairdresser, going from one home to the next to help make ends meet. We can only imagine where her hustle and grit would have taken her with the right support.
To learn more about Blue Star Families, follow @bluestarfamilies and visit bluestarfam.org.
Please also shop our Coastie Collection. And you can follow updates about Blue Star Families and our Coastie Collection on Instagram @justmysticshop.
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