In Honor of Milspouse Appreciation Day: Military Spouses Throughout History

May is Military Spouse Appreciation Month!

Military spouses take care of a lot. At any given time, a military spouse might be juggling bills, pets, kids, school, or finding/keeping a job, all while keeping track of their service member’s training rotations and deployments.

It’s always an awesome feeling to be appreciated for manning the “domestic” homefront, even when your spouse has been deployed for months and a free donut or pedicure to make you feel better— just won’t do!

Military Spouses Throughout History

Rather than give you yet another listicle about why military spouses are awesome (this is known), or how military life can be crazy (also known), we thought we’d focus on something a little less known.

This Military Spouse Appreciation Month, we present to you some military spouses throughout history who broke the mold. Some stories are inspirational. Others might make you think, “Could be worse, I guess.”

Queen Elizabeth II

The recently-widowed Queen Elizabeth II was a Navy wife in the early years of her marriage. Her husband, the late Prince Philip, had planned to enjoy a long naval career before she ascended to the throne.

Before the death of her father, King George V, the family lived in Malta while Prince Philip climbed the career ladder. It seems to have been a happy, fairly normal life for their family. When her father died unexpectedly, he had to put aside his military career and dedicated himself full time to support his wife.

Imagine how weird your real life has to be if you fondly remember your experience of military life as the most normal time.

Agrippina the Elder

This one is kind of a twofer since last month was the Month of the Military Child. Agrippina the Elder was the wife of Germanicus Caesar, the great-nephew of Caesar Augustus, and the adopted son of Tiberius Caesar.

She followed her husband around on his various military campaigns before his sudden death (she maintained he was poisoned by his adopted father, who knows? This was pre-Oprah). Although these days the average military kid moves 6 to 9 times growing up, this kind of globe-trotting was pretty rare in the 1st Century BCE.

It’s her son who enjoys the most fame, though, as the mad, bad, and dangerous to know Emperor Caligula.

Caligula’s historical reputation is pretty wild, but his name’s origin story is actually really adorable. Agrippina used to dress him in a little army uniform and parade him around the camp, and Germanicus’ soldiers started calling him Caligula, which means “Little Boots.”

The Notorious RBG

That’s right. The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a US Army spouse, having married Martin Ginsburg right out of college and moved with him to Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

She argued before the Supreme Court for the first time on behalf of a military spouse, a male spouse whose female service member wife was seeking spouse protections for him.

Ina Garten

More popularly known as the Food Network’s very own Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten’s husband Jeffrey Garten served in the US Army from 1968 to 1972. Himself an Army brat, he packed a lot into his time in the Army. He was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne and was eventually selected as the aide to the commanding general at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

Jeffrey’s Army blues are prominently featured in his and Ina’s sweet wedding photos.

Alma Powell

Her husband, Colin, gets all the attention, but Alma Powell is a force to be reckoned with. She’s Chair of the Board of Directors for America’s Promise Alliance, an organization committed to mentoring young people with caring adults, and providing them opportunities to serve, along with a healthy start, safe places, and an effective education.

Alma also studied speech pathology and audiology, having served as the staff audiologist for the Boston Guild for the Hard of Hearing.

Military spouses are royalty, even if they aren’t dukes, queens, barefoot contessas, or related to a Caesar

Okay, so admittedly this list has some real heavy-hitters. It can seem hard to relate to the wife of the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

But even if they’re not exactly Joe or Joan Sixpack, at least you know that you’re not alone when military life throws challenges or surprises at you, because even the most privileged ones definitely experienced some ups and downs and twists and turns.

For all of your life’s twists and turns, ups and downs, AFI Insurance Products let you rest secure in the knowledge that you’re protected,–no matter what comes your way.