Month of the Military Spouse: The Pearson family

Having a spouse serving in the military can be difficult for a family. But how about having two military spouses in a family? The Minnesota National Guard’s Air Force Master Sgt. Tyler Pearson and his spouse Air Force Master Sgt. Marina Pearson both serve with the Saint Paul-based 133rd Airlift Wing Maintenance Group. They recently welcomed their first child, Everly, who is 11 months old.

Their dual military family faces added challenges.

“Both of us are commonly tasked with duties requiring us to be away. Sometimes both of us at the same time. That requires a great support system to lean on, such as family, to either watch the kid or plow the driveway,” Tyler said. “Sometimes, life just gets put on hold. The [temporary duty assignments away from home], deployments, drills, and additional training replaces the time that could be spent together. The everyday daily taskings still get accomplished, but fully rely on the spouse who is at home. There are added responsibilities and more reliance on friends and family to support the two of you.”

But there are also positives to being a dual military family, including a unique personal connection between the spouses.

“One positive is that we understand one another’s mission and what it takes to accomplish it,” Marina said.

“Being dual military, you understand more of what your spouse’s workday entails,” Tyler said. “Able to understand the stressors, responsibilities, and day-to-day experiences. Knowing the abbreviations and acronyms that are said so naturally is a huge help too.”

With the ups and downs of military life, the Pearsons appreciate the support of their military family, which is an extension of their actual family.

“Events hosted by the wing bring a great deal of comradery and care, while introducing loved ones to the work environment,” Tyler said. “I believe the support and resources reflect appreciation and acknowledgement of the difficulties families experience.”

Both Marina and Tyler believe in the importance of observing Month of the Military Spouse.

“It’s great to recognize the support behind the member. Spouses make such a huge impact to the family and their support can make the mission possible,” Marina said. “I think society focuses on the member serving the mission and they don’t give nearly enough credit to the spouse holding down the fort.”

Tyler agreed. “It highlights the challenges and sacrifices of the spouse beyond the member’s military duties,” he said. “Remembering that there is a home life outside of work life that aids in mission readiness and success.”

The Pearsons thank all military spouses for all they do.

“Without the support and dedication of military spouses, the mission and wellbeing of members would be affected,” Tyler said. “The countless times of having to step up doesn’t go unnoticed.”

“No words can express the appreciation of the burden that military spouses take on,” Marina said. “They are required to not only take care of what’s left back at home, but also give support to their spouse who is accomplishing the mission.”

Marina and Tyler encourage those outside of the military community to support military spouses however way they can.

“Check in on how the spouse is mentally and with the homestead. Have patience, because they may not be able to be as present while they navigate ‘single’ life,” Marina said.

“Military spouses take on the responsibility of two sometimes. That is not the only stressor though. A military spouse might have less communication when the member is away, or the unknown of their assignment brings worry,” Tyler said. “This makes awareness of resilience critical. Be supportive, assist where you can, and understand that the experiences of military spouses are diverse.”

The United States Department of Defense recognizes the strength and contributions of the nation’s nearly 1 million military spouses and offers extra support and activities focused on real-world needs in May, and year-round.

Story by Christina Oxtra

Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs