They are the men and women who stand silently behind our soldiers, sacrificing daily for our freedom and security. From raising children on their own to fearing for their spouses’ safety, being married to a member of the Armed Forces is full of challenges. However, as every military spouse will tell you, it is also full of rewards. Serving our country is an honor, and the community of military families supports each other like none other.
FOX News is honoring wives who serve our country in their own way every day and who have made it their mission to nurture the military community.
One military spouse and mom became a CEO through her passion for military families. We sat down with Roxanne Reed, founder and CEO of "all fired up" Candle Company, LLC and Jane Wayne Gear, to find out what drives her to succeed and what she's doing to give back.
FOX Fan: What does it mean to you to be the spouse of someone in the military?Roxanne Reed: Being a military spouse is an honor, because we get to play a role in the success of our nation alongside our spouse. Although we do not wear the uniform, most military guys and gals refer to us as the “backbone” of the military community. I am proud that my husband, brother-in-laws and father all serve our country honorably. I live with heroes every day, and it takes a unique person to give so much of themselves for the greater good. If you ever want to see what America is really about, spend some time with a military family.
FF: What is a military spouse’s biggest challenge?
RR: I think it depends on how you look at it. Our life can be a set of challenges, but it is also a set of adventures. Our greatest challenge is learning how to share our loved one with the American people and those around the world that need our help. It takes a lot of love and patience to be able to handle the demands of the military. However, as spouses we see the “demands” as an opportunity to do our part for the country as well. The spouses also have each other… a sisterhood and brotherhood that connects us all and gives us a place to laugh, cry and have a military spouse “freak out moment” when we need it, and then we move on to our next challenge.
FF: Tell us about Jane Wayne Gear and All Fired Up Candle Company.
RR: We are the first and Original Design Company of Military Wives. We specialize in trendy “gear” that includes clothing, camouflage handbags and military pride candles. We are a company built by spouses for military families.
FF: When you were starting the business, why was it important to you to tie it into the military community?
RR: We have an amazing network of women in our spouse community, and I wanted to build a company of our own that specialized in the unique needs of our community on two fronts: The first being trendy gear that shows our pride for our community, and second, something that gives spouses a way to share their unique talents with the business world.
FF: You’ve also started a mentoring program for other military spouses. Why is it important to you to give back? How do other military spouses help you day to day?
RR: I believe every CEO should give back in any way they can. We try to fill all of our contracting positions with military spouses around the country. From our graphics teams to our sales teams, our company is filled with military spouses, and we’re proud of that. We truly are a company built by spouses for spouses, and our unique business model is working.
FF: What is the greatest reward?
RR: Knowing that we are making a difference in our own way and that our children are growing up in the safety and protection of the American ideal.
FF: What unique issues present themselves in a military marriage? How do you handle them? How do they strengthen your marriage/family?
RR: You have to be patient and independent to survive as a military spouse, in my opinion. At any time, you have to be prepared to run the household, take care of little ones and handle your career as a single parent. I have learned to give myself a break when possible -- a deployment is no time to become a perfectionist in every aspect of your life. We’re human, and deployments can be scary – that’s when the bonds of our marriage are strengthened. You realize what is important.
In the end what binds us, I think, is the simple fact that when all your cards are on the table you realize what matters most… each other and your children. I cherish my husband more each day, and I believe in some part it is because we have come to realize how precious our time together is… and how quickly it could be taken away.
FF: What do you love most about your spouse?
RR: I love his integrity, honor, love of our family and his unwavering humor.
FF: What does it mean to be part of the military community?
RR: It is truly the most honorable of professions, and I am thankful everyday to be a part of it. My life will be forever blessed by living the life of a military spouse.
FF: What's one thing would you like other Americans to know about those serving in our Armed Forces and their families?
RR: That come “hell or high water,” we got your back!
FF: What does being an American mean to you?
RR: Freedom, passion, and an unwavering commitment to make the world a better place for generations to come.
Click here to find out more about Jane Wayne Gear and All Fired Up!
Plus -- have a military spouse of your own that you'd like to mention? Tell us about that special someone by sending us an email!