Military spouses: The true heroes of Memorial Day

Established in 1873, Memorial Day is a federal holiday in America dedicated to honoring the military men and women who sacrificed their lives in service to the country. The commitment and dedication of these heroes and their families have always inspired reverence in me. As a civilian and law firm owner, I had no direct experience of military life until I began working with military spouses.

Around 1 million military spouses in America face complex challenges when seeking employment due to regulations that limit their ability to work, especially when their partners are deployed. The unemployment rates among military spouses are as high as 21%, five times the national average.

Reports indicate chronic unemployment and underemployment among military spouses. Prostock-studio – stock.adobe.com

In 2017, I made the decision to help military spouses find financial and professional stability. This initiative led to the integration of military spouses into our firm, with 30% of our team now consisting of military spouses.

Working with military spouses has proven to be advantageous for our firm, as they bring qualities like teamwork, leadership, motivation, resourcefulness, and a strong work ethic. Despite facing challenges like frequent relocations, finding new housing, schools, and jobs, military spouses display tenacity, problem-solving skills, and adaptability.

Military spouse unemployment rates are five times the national average. AFP via Getty Images

Partnering with organizations like MSJDN and Hiring our Heroes has enabled us to support military spouses in finding employment opportunities. The experience of working with military spouses has become an integral part of our firm’s culture, educating and inspiring me personally.

The importance of recognizing and facilitating military spouse employment is being acknowledged by both the government and private sector. Recent efforts like Executive Orders and policies allowing remote work for federally employed military spouses aim to enhance economic security and support military families.

Jill Biden introduced a policy allowing federally employed military spouses to work remotely. AP

The commitment to employing military spouses shown by programs like the 4+1 Commitment benefits not only family incomes but also national security by ensuring military readiness.

My experience of working with military spouses has transformed my company and myself, fostering awareness, understanding, and empathy for a community different from my own. As we honor America’s military heroes on Memorial Day, let’s also acknowledge the sacrifice and strength of their spouses who support them at home.

Suzie Scanlon Rabinowitz is the founder of SRD Legal Group

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