By Rebecca Alwine
Military spouses are born innovators. We can make a stark, boring house look amazing and lived in within a week. We can take random food from the pantry and whip up something for a pot luck at a moment’s notice. We even managed to get ink stains out of uniforms on a semi-regular basis. We’re awesome…we know it, but did you know just how cool we really are? Let us enlighten you:
The scientific foundations that made wifi possible
While we can’t claim her as an American military spouse, we still admire Hedy Lamarr! Actress, genius, and inventor, she truly embodied the military spouse mantra of of course I can! She was married to a German Nazi soldier, but then came to her senses, left him, and fled to the US. She and her friend were responsible for inventing a “Secret Communications System” that involved frequency hopping and received a patent for a radio-controlled torpedo, the fundamentals of which made wifi, GPS, military communications, and wireless phones possible more than half a century later.
Lamar’s idea was designed to keep enemies from decoding radio messages, particularly in an effort to defeat the Nazis during World War II. She was lauded for her efforts all the way through 1997, when she received the Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award and became the first woman to receive the BULBIE.
They didn’t invent handbags–or even the military spouse entrepreneur concept– but R. Riveter sure took it further than any other entrepreneuring milspouses we’ve seen before. The dynamic duo of Lisa Bradley and Cameron Cruse took the world by storm when they appeared on Shark Tank in early 2016. Since then they have streamlined their process and hired even more military spouses. We love their products and we love how they are empowering military spouses by giving them a great opportunity to work from home and take their job with them.
There are times when we have it tough, but Viking women? They had it so much harder, and yet they thrived. They made their own clothing. From nothing. They planted flax seeds for linen, they raised the lambs for wool. They then spun the fiber, wove it into cloth, cut it, and hand-sewed it into garments. They did this while they ran the farms, tended the animals, cooked the food, and, you know, took care of life while the men were out raiding. They were like the original wonder women of Etsy.
You may have heard rumblings that military spouses are responsible for the creation of nachos. The story isn’t exactly clear, but it goes a little like this. When stationed in Eagle Pass, Texas, a group of military wives went exploring in Mexico. When they went to lunch, the restaurant, in a pinch, served them up tortilla chips, melted cheese, and jalapenos. The nacho dish was born. And people everywhere rejoiced.
Taking care of business
Spartan women focused on governing their city, agriculture, logistics, and other historically male-dominated tasks. They helped pave the way for female leadership and were proud of the way they maintained their society.
The MilSpo Project
Without a doubt, one thing we do really well is fight for change. That’s exactly what the founders of the MilSpo Project, Elizabeth Boardman and Nicole Hope, did. Since 2014, they have opened 38 chapters for spouses to meet up and discuss unique employment issues and served almost 600 spouses. The spouses who connect with this group are trying to find the balance between military life and their careers.
As we’ve adapted and changed throughout the years, we’ve broken the mold on what is expected of us by society. We’ve focused on what makes us stronger and happier. We’re focused on building each other up instead of tearing each other down. We’re focused on making things better for the ones that come after us.