JOHNSTOWN, Pa (WTAJ)– Two veterans who are also military spouses received honors at the 13th annual Military Spouse Appreciation Day ceremony in Johnstown.
Military Spouse Appreciation Day falls on the Friday before Mother’s Day each year. It started back in 1984 when President Ronald Reagan recognized it. Celebrations are typically held around the world near military bases.
This ceremony in Johnstown took place at the 1st Summit Arena. Johnstown and Cambria County officials and representatives of those in Congress took part in the celebration. The honorees this year were Jessie Anderson and Lt Col Sean Mullen.
Anderson and Mullen spoke about their times in the military and their experiences as military spouses. Anderson called it an honor to be recognized at the ceremony. She values a voice for the military spouse community.
“To be acknowledged on Military Spouse Day by the Johnstown community is an absolute honor,” Anderson said. “I love being a voice and speaking up, especially for the unspoken, unacknowledged. I love screaming from the rooftops and making people aware of the sacrifices.”
Anderson is a native of New York and met her husband through her time in the military. She served 12 years as an Army drill sergeant. Her journey involved maintaining her household and keeping out for her daughter, who has a rare medical condition.
“My husband is finishing up his 20 years in the Air National Guard. He’s looking forward to receiving his 20-year letter,” Anderson said. “But my time as a military spouse has certainly been one of strength, endurance, and compassion. I have had to take the lead on keeping my family together.”
Even though Anderson is not one to ask for help, she knows that strong support goes a long way. Her time as a military spouse would’ve been different if not for the support from other spouses she’s met in the community.
She makes it part of her mission to be a voice for military spouses. She believes that the Johnstown community should know all that military spouses do and how much goes into their daily lives.
Get the latest local news, weather, and community events. Sign up for the WTAJ Newsletter.
“Be a resource. Mission always comes first,” Anderson said. “We may not want them to go, they may not want to go, but it’s an obligation we signed up for, and it’s something that absolutely has to be done. There’s always a family that’s left behind, who needs the support.”