I enlisted in the Army Reserve 1 July 1998. What my future wife didn't know is that she was enlisting with me. She never knew what she was signing up for, and to be honest, she never got a vote.
Hundreds of thousands of spouses face that exact same dilemma every day, and they are the ones that have to deal with the ramifications. Sure, service members sacrifice, but they knowingly put themselves in that position. Service members sign up for the benefits, pay, and service to country. They sign up for a number of different reasons, but what most of those young kids don't realize is that they are signing up their entire family.
Being a veteran literally means that you are experienced. It means that you've been somewhere and you've done something. I'd like to suggest that when someone marries a member of our armed forces they are committing to something bigger than themselves. What they are really committing to is that they will love someone who doesn't get a say over when it's time to leave. They are saying that they will love someone who will have to get up before the sunrise and may not come home till after dark. They will love someone who will have to choose the "mission" even when they don't want to.
This veteran's day be sure to thank a veteran, then turn to the people who are standing behind them and say thank you to them as well. I can guarantee you for every successful veteran there is another different type of veteran who has survived lonely nights, lack of attention, and understands the definition of sacrifice.