A $25 gift card to a steakhouse and a haircut might not seem like much.
But Fort Carson wife Deena Singleton felt like she won the lottery when she scored both for free at Military Spouse Appreciation Day, hosted at the Southeast YMCA this month.
The annual event honors the sacrifices of local military spouses by offering them a variety of freebies like roses, goody bags, spa services and desserts.
Singleton said her husband, a Fort Carson medic, wouldn't know what hit him when he returned from a field training exercise the next day to find her with a new hairstyle, waiting to take him to a free dinner at Texas Roadhouse.
"It's really nice to be pampered because military spouses go through a lot of hardships," Singleton said. "I think we take care of ourselves last. It's nice to honor us in this way."
The haircut - a luxury, given the family's single-income status - made her feel like a "new person," she said as she tousled her freshly trimmed strands.
Fort Carson wives Nicole Fey and Johanna Roberts attended the event in pursuit of pampering.
Fey, whose husband is deployed to Kuwait, let out a sigh of relief as a volunteer masseuse worked the stress out of her shoulders.
It may be cliche, but it's true: Everything goes to hell in a handbasket when your husband deploys, she said.
Fey's car, washing machine and water heater have all broken since her husband left for the sandbox.
"Everything breaks. It's inevitable," she said. "You think, 'Why do you have to be there while I endure all of this?'?"
Just because her husband isn't deployed to a war zone doesn't mean she doesn't worry, she said.
Fey has been especially concerned about her husband, a military vehicle driver, since two Fort Carson soldiers died May 2 when their vehicle crashed at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
"Things can happen anywhere," she said. "People get hurt all the time, even in the field."
Roberts, wife of a Fort Carson truck driver, said the uncertainty of military life takes a toll on spouses.
She recently missed a call from her husband. When she called him back 30 seconds later, he told her he would be leaving in a few days for a month of training in Germany.
"It's hard not knowing what's going on," Roberts said.
"But there are benefits like good health care and a regular paycheck, and that's why we allow them to serve," she added with a smile.