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Maria Sanchez

Military Wife & Artist

Foster City, CA

I decided to lean in because it's what we do as military wives. We lean in to the uncertainty, the fear and the anxiety that comes with deployment.

It began when my husband told me he was being deploying again to the Middle East. My heart sank, knowing full well what that meant, as we had experienced this once before. We would be separated for a year, and I'd have sleepless days and nights worrying about his safety. I would carry the load at home with our three children and reassure them that all would be well. I would have to be brave. I didn't have a choice.

I decided to lean in because that’s what we do as military wives.  We lean in to the uncertainty, the fear and the anxiety that comes with deployment.

After I received the news, I made sure my husband felt supported by us as a family unit. I then sought out other spouses to help support me. When you are not connected or linked to a military base as a spouse, there is very little support available. I couldn't find any local groups in the San Francisco Bay Area, so I decided to start my own. I launched MilitaryEsposa to help seek out other military wives in the same situation and to offer my support – to remind them that they are not alone.

BeBraveMujer was also birthed from this experience, as I was faced with the choice of either crawling under a rock or choosing to be brave. I launched the website as an empowerment project to remind women that no matter what situation they are faced with, always remember to be brave. It also offers a humble daily reminder to women everywhere that no matter what life brings, you will survive.

After leaning in and launching these two projects, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and interacting with various women who are facing deployments of their own. This experience has also helped me find my voice, one that says clearly to women everywhere, “You can overcome, you can get ahead, you will make it through this trial; in fact, you will be a better person on the other side. You are a brave mujer!”