Independence Day celebrates the day America’s founding fathers put pen to paper and outlined the rights and beliefs that would form our values as a new nation. And, like most things patriotic, the Fourth of July has become inextricably linked with our nation’s armed forces.

Independence Day also commemorates the beginning of a distinctly American set of cultural values, proudly displayed right in the holiday’s name. For centuries, as a country we have come to celebrate self-reliance, a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” national identity.

That’s why, as an Army spouse, on Independence Day and with all the self-sufficiency it extolls, I can’t help but be reminded of my own irksome designation within the military: I am my husband’s dependent.

Continue reading this opinion piece by social work researcher Jennifer Aronson in Reuters.