Posts Tagged ‘mililtary spouse’

Three more days until we celebrate being a military spouse in Colorado Springs with military spouses from across the country! We are stuffing bags full of gifts, sorting door prizes, ordering tons of food and putting together all of the details of the conference. We are all abuzz and loving it!

Not only are we putting all those last-minute details together, but we are also making plans for next year’s conferences! (Did you hear that? More than one!) We have even more fun and exciting plans for Colorado and Texas in 2011–and also for  churches and/or organizations across the country with military ministries! Keep checking in to see what we have planned!

See you in a few days!!


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Military life can be hard. Our military personnel make great sacrifices to protect our country and others around the world. They work long hours and spend extended periods of time away from their families to fight for the freedoms that allow us to enjoy an American lifestyle. What many don’t realize is the stress and strain that this puts on the military spouse.

Military spouses are strong, but they can’t bear the burden of military life alone. The pressures of deployment, single parenting while married, tight budgets, lack of continuity and other stresses bear down on this strong woman’s soul.

This is why I founded Wings for Women Military Spouse Conferences–to help military spouses deal with the stresses of military life. The Wings for Women Conferences–two-day events that will run in military cities across the nation (as soon as we have funding for them) feature general sessions, dynamic speakers and military lifestyle breakout workshops designed to inspire and encourage military spouses towards emotional healing.

In 1967, Thomas H. Holmes and Richard H. Rahe, from the University of Washington, did a study on the connection between significant life events and illness. As part of the study, they compiled a chart of 43 major causes of stress. In 2006, that chart was updated to include 55 major stressors. Here is a list of the top seven.

  • Finances (having enough to get by)
  • Work (overwork, a spouse working too much, or the inability to find work)
  • Family (health and family changes such as adoption, relocation, and job changes for just one family member can cause stress for all)
  • Personal Concerns (such as how the workload at home is shared)
  • Personal Health and Safety (affected by being alone and PTSD in a loved one)
  • Personal Relationships (friendship, marriage)
  • Death

In any given moment of any given day, the military family is dealing with not just one of these top stressors, but many. They:

  • Struggle with finances because of low pay
  • Get passed on much-needed employment because of a resume filled with time gaps from frequent moves
  • Feel the burden of managing the home and the children alone because of the military member’s long hours and/or deployments.

A deployed military member leaves behind a family who is stressed by being home alone and a spouse dealing with long distance marriage, a lack of close friendship bonds and the constant fear that her husband may not return from war. When the military member finally comes home, the spouse and family are greatly affected by the military member’s new personality traits because of war and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Imagine how you or your spouse might feel if put into one of these situations; yet the military spouse deals with these high stress triggers all the time. Every year. Every month. Every day.

These are the facts in the life of a military family.

A study published in January (2010) in the New England Journal of Medicine reinforces Holmes’ and Rahe’s theory of stress leading to illness by specifically looking at military families. The Journal study reviewed electronic medical data for almost 85 percent of the nearly 300,000 women whose active-duty husbands were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan from 2003-2006. They found that 36.6 percent of those women had at least one mental-health diagnosis such as depression, anxiety or a sleep disorder. And this only counts those who reported problems.

“My husband is in Iraq for the 4th time,” says one military spouse on Facebook. “You are right, it doesn’t get any easier. In fact, this deployment (my third) was the hardest for me so far…It’s nice to be among those who understand and can relate to what you’re going thru.”

Jacey Eckhart of Military Money Magazine shares about the life of a Navy spouse: “But spouses? Man, they rip the veil off your head, ship you off to a city where you may not know a soul and expect you to be able to handle a deployment, say, a week later. Spouse boot camp often is self-taught. We manage. More importantly, we adapt.”

Wings for Women Military Spouse Conferences is addressing this and more by providing an opportunity for military spouses to be with those who understand and can relate to military life. Even more, the conferences will provide tools and resources to help spouses deal with these issues to improve their lives and subsequently the lives of the military family. We know from experience that as long as women have a place to gather these things will happen.

Our conferences kick off this year in Colorado Springs, CO May 14–15th with nearly 300 participants–many of whom are coming to Colorado from across the country.

The conferences will help spouses improve their relationships with themselves, their husbands and their children and increase their self-worth. We will provide valuable military and community resources to ensure that the spouse becomes engaged and supported by those around her after the conference concludes. As a result the spouses will be more aware of her purpose and mission, more connected with others like her and also with those who want to help. She will be refreshed and energized about her military lifestyle.

We believe that supporting the military spouse allows her to support her husband and children in a way that only she can. When the military spouse has the tools and resources she needs to thrive in the military lifestyle, the warrior has less stress as he does his job in the field and the children are more confident in the absence of their fathers.

In short, helping the military spouse helps everyone.

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You are invited to attend the Wings for Women Conference

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Our conference last April was such a great start to what is proving to be an amazing way to offer hope and encouragement to military spouses worldwide! I’m already excited about the 2010 Conference in Colorado Springs! It will be a launching board for nation-wide conferences in a plan that will come to fruition in about five years!

Again, we are shooting for an April conference. This time we’ll have break-out sessions where we can delve more deeply into military spouse-specific issues like PTSD, Single Parenting, Keeping the Family Strong, Dealing with Stress and Grief, Finances, and Careers. We will have so many resources available for you–you’ll never feel alone again!

We’re getting some excellent speakers lined up, too! Can’t wait to reveal those to you!

In the meantime, if you stumble across this site because you are a military spouse, please share us with others! We’re a new kid in town and we’re looking for friends!


Alane Pearce
Founder and Executive Director
Wings for Women Military Spouse Conference

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