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“I think if I could tell a new military spouse something about joining the lifestyle, it’s not letting the service define who you are. I just had a very little bit of it at the beginning where its like, oh, I’m a military spouse and I need to do this, and I have to do that. And that’s not true. There are definitely times when it’s important to show up and to be present for your spouse and to, I would not say put on an appearance, but to definitely put your best foot forward. But that’s not all there is to this life. You can be a fabulous military spouse and not go to all the base events, not go to all of the command dinners and whatever. You can still be a fantastic military spouse and still have a career if that’s what you want…and still have your own passions that really make up who you are.”

- Alexis, Air Force Spouse | Sanford, North Carolina

Editor’s note: To help foster connection and understanding between civilians and service members, we created this series, “Front & Center,” and traveled to USO locations around the world to speak to troops about life in the military and the everyday things they love. Here’s what they had to say.