I wouldn’t use the word “sacrifice” to describe what I do as a military spouse. To me, that word is reserved for the men and women who wear a uniform and commit their lives to defending this country. But it is true that due to the nature of my husband’s military service I have had to make the decision to make his career a focal point of our lives.
In doing this I, just like so many other military spouses, have made the conscious decision to put some of my goals and dreams on hold so that my husband can complete his service.
Music has always been a driving force in my life. Growing up in a family full of musicians and music educators, I was singing and performing from an early age. Band, chorus, and community theatre were a part of my childhood. In college I continued to study musical theatre, voice and oboe performance. I was convinced that after I was done I would make my way to New York and make it big one day. And then, this handsome Marine walks into a karaoke bar… and, well I think we all know how that turned out.
I would not trade my life with my husband, my two beautiful girls, or the community of military spouses I am blessed to be a part of for anything. Not even the bright lights of Broadway, or a place on stage at Radio City Music Hall.
That’s why I am absolutely overwhelmed by what is happening to me, a member of the American Military Spouses Choir, right now. I am writing to you from New York City where we will be performing LIVE at Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday night (August 6th) as a part of the popular reality talent show, America’s Got Talent!
Can you stand it?!
When the American Military Spouses Choir formed last spring, none of us could have even imagined we would be living this dream. We were formed by a non-profit called C.A.M.M.O. (The Center for American Military Music Opportunities), to sing at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Answering that casting call was something I questioned at first. My baby girl was only seven weeks old at the time. How could I leave her? Was it fair to stick my husband with a pre-teen and an infant while I traveled across the country to sing? But my husband was very matter-of-fact, telling me that of course I had to do it. He knew that combing the two things I am most passionate about (the military spouse community and singing) was a no-brainer. So I answered that call. It was truly a life-changing moment.
From the first note the choir sang, I knew that something powerful was happening. In my role as the Digital Editor here at Military Spouse, I have the great opportunity to see, first hand, how amazing military spouses are every single day. I also know the healing power of music. (Both of my parents were music therapists.) But when you put both of those things together . . . I am almost at a loss for words trying to describe it.
The American Military Spouses Choir is made up of spouses from all over the country. We are from different branches of the military. Our husbands are of various ranks (and most of us have no idea of those ranks – it almost never comes up), and they all do different jobs. Our members are seasoned spouses and newlyweds and everything in between. Some of us have grown children (and grandchildren), and some are pregnant with their first child. We have different educational backgrounds, religious beliefs, political views, and ways of looking at the world. Our personalities are as diverse as our backgrounds. But we have two very important things in common: we love music, and we love someone who wears a United States military uniform.
This group of spouses is truly representative of the military spouse community as a whole because we are just as diverse. When we sing, I always have the entire community in my heart. I can’t help it. The best music is made when you sing from personal experience and tell a story about your passion for it. I adore this community and am excited every single time the American public learns more about such an incredible group of people.
I also think of you because I realize that we are living this dream, in part, BECAUSE of you. America has been at war for well over a decade, and during that time the civilian population has seen what an amazing, strong and resilient community we are . . . and they are intrigued.
So, when we stand on the stage at Radio City Music Hall this coming Tuesday, we will not only be singing to honor our brave men and women in uniform . . . we will be honoring and representing YOU. It is a responsibility we embrace – representing the 1.1 million men and women who made the same decisions we did, who sometimes put their dreams and goals on hold so that their spouses can serve this country and defend the freedoms we all hold dear.
The support you have given us has been humbling and overwhelming. You are a powerful force and have continued to help spread the word about our performance. (We all know that military spouses are masters at networking. Make sure to tune in to NBC this Tuesday night, August 6th (check your local listings) as we take the stage at Radio City Music Hall! And if you think we have done a great job in representing you, the military spouse, we would appreciate your vote!
To further support the American Military Spouses Choir you can follow them on Facebook and on Twitter @theAMSC. Post the following picture as your avatar or profile picture to pass along the word! For more information about voting, visit www.nbc.com