Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent
Tammy is a proud Military wife of eighteen years. She and her family are stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, in Las Vegas, NV. The military life is all that Tammy knows. She says, “I’m an Air Force Brat, my dad retired in May of 1993 and I married my husband in December of that same year. I don’t know any other way than t…he military way and I wouldn’t change it for anything!”
If Tammy could go back and give herself advice prior to becoming a military spouse it would be to be helpful and supportive of other spouses and to choose friends carefully. “It’s hard in the beginning, because you are suddenly pulled away to a new place and new people and for many military spouses, this is the first time they’ve left their lifelong home. We make tons of friends and are indiscriminate on who really is lifting us up and helping us make it through this tough life. Be kind always, but be very careful of who you let into your personal space,” Tammy says.
Tammy’s daughter is sixteen and has severe Cerebral Palsy, quadriplegia, moderate mental retardation and a feeding tube. She has always felt it was her duty to help other parents that were facing difficult times, no matter the diagnosis. “A sick child is a sick child… no matter what is wrong. Patience and understanding and most of all teaching others to be tolerant of the world and their questions is the most important aspect,” Tammy says.
She feels the best thing to do for special needs children is to show grace to those that don’t understand, which will spread acceptance to the children. “In the end, isn’t that really what we want most for them… to be accepted as they are? As a mom that went through this at a young age, I know what I wish I would have had from an older mom that’s been there, done that. Just a conversation, an ear to hear and kind words to encourage. Being able to say to them… Yes, this is hard, but you’re gonna rock it because that’s what we do!! We rock it and we love our children. We cry when we need to, then we get up and face it again, stronger than before. This is what we do.”
The Military Special Needs Network honors and salutes Tammy Leech as the Military Spouse of the Day! We thank you for being such a wonderful military spouse and an amazing advocate for special needs!
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