TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- In 1984, President Reagan recognized the importance of military spouses and their commitment to the readiness of their family, and made National Military Spouse Appreciation Day. The Department of Defense later standardized the date, declaring that the national day will be observed each year the Friday before mother's day.
"Flexible. Strong. Supportive. Spontaneous." Those are the words that Lisa Francis, the wife of an Air Force Veteran, used to describe what it takes to be a military spouse.
For Lisa and her husband, Billy, their story started like everyone else's...boy meets girl, and they fall in love.
"I found her three weeks later in San Antonio, Texas, and we got married a year and a half later," says Billy Francis, a U.S. Air Force Veteran. "She's been my better half now for going on 28 years."
Lisa was born and raised in a military family, but the role from daughter to wife was something new to her.
"I guess as a dependent daughter and then a dependent wife, the roles are a little bit different, but 'patriot' is a word that would sum me up pretty well," says Lisa. "Being able to hold it all together and trying to stay grounded."
Of course, holding it together isn't always an easy task. Lisa did turn to her parents from time to time, as well as the group of wives she met at each of the bases.
Lisa continues, "From just saying 'You know what I need? I need time off. I need a break. I want to go to the grocery store by myself. Can you watch the kids?' Always willing to just say 'yes, absolutely,' has always just been very comforting."
Billy knows that while it doesn't take a special type of person to be a military spouse, they are very special people.
"They are very special people, but what makes them special is not any qualifier, it's what they do and who they are," says Billy
A strong bond and an even stronger love on this Military Spouse Appreciation day.