Military Special Needs Network

Proudly Supporting all Military Families with a Special Needs Dependent

An Ode to You. Yes, YOU!


You are pretty terrific. Did you know that?

How many times, after introducing yourself as either a military spouse, or after folks find out that you have a special needs child, don’t you get the response, “I don’t know how you do it!”   Well, I’m going to blow everybody’s mind and give the unvarnished truth:

There is no other option!

Once a decision has been made to become a military spouse, or you become the parent of a special needs child, you are left with two options – either rise to the occasion or don’t. That’s it. And You, You incredible person, You, have decided to take up the challenge. And kick its butt.

To quote Yoda, “Do or do not…there is no try.”

We either make a go of our marriages, the military lifestyle, and everything that being a mom to special needs children entails…or we don’t. The alternative is what? What would happen if you just…didn’t? If you didn’t care any more? If, the next time your husband was deployed, you just told him that you quit? If, you stopped taking your child(ren) to doctor appointments? Or therapy? Or lab work?

It doesn’t bear thinking about. The result would be too terrible to contemplate. Therefore, you have no option. You do what you do because it needs to get done. It falls to you. Often times, you have no back up. You do our work without  a net. Without respite. Without  end. Until you pack up, move cross country and start all over from scratch. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

You are amazing. You are strong. You are doing the job of two spouses, two parents, two people. For months and months at a time. You are patient, caring, loving, supportive, and you blow my mind. Continually.

Thank you for being you. For not giving up. For fighting the good fight. For being there.

Image courtesy


Kelly is a Navy wife and mother to three children; 16 year old NT, 6 and 5 year old boys on the spectrum; and, since life was getting a touch boring, she’s added a bun in the oven. Kelly has been featured in a collection of essays on special needs children entitled, “Wit and Wisdom From the Parents of Special Needs Children.” She can also be found at, and as a guest blogger throughout the blog-iverse. In her spare time, Kelly is the Blog Master for, and member of, the Military Special Needs Network Executive Board. You can contact her via email at

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