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The True Benefits of Being a Military Spouse

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): The True Benefits of Being a Military Spouse

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The True Benefits of Being a Military Spouse

Okay, so you're married to the military. You go tax-free shopping at the PX and the commissary, but have you ever really thought about what REAL benefits you have besides the tax-free shopping? Here are some things to think about.

Have you ever sat and thought about what you like about being a military wife? I know we all complain...hey, it's human nature, so that's acceptable. But, there must be something you like about it. If someone asked you today what you like about your military nomadic life, what would you say? Here's what I would say:

  • I love when my husband returns from his deployment, and we get to have a honeymoon all over again!
  • I love to travel all over the world, live in new places, experience new cultures..and when I am tired of that one, I know I will soon be moving on to the next one (this even includes places in good ole' US of A, because "down in the Bayou" is much different than "living in the Big Apple"
  • The military discounts available at theme parks, restaurants and shopping are great
  • The sense of independence, adventure, maturity and flexibility I am instilling in my children will last them a lifetime
  • I love the sense of pride and patriotism that comes out in me, because you just can't help it with your surroundings
  • It's great to have the many discounted and free programs and opportunities available to the military through organizations on post such as Army Community Service
  • I love the ease of making friends with other military wives and families, because we all tend to do this automatically with all the moving around we do
  • The educational opportunities for me and my husband, most times free and low cost, are a nice thing to have
  • The opportunities for us to network in our jobs, so we can find our rightful place after the military are plentiful
  • The free healthcare most Americans are struggling to pay or can't pay at all may be reason enough right there (and from personal experience, the quality of care can be quite good, depending on where you are)
  • The job security my husband has knowing he won't ever be fired (you'd have to screw up badly to be "let go"; never say never, but I am comparing his work to let's say someone who works in some mindless corporation somewhere; they disappear and fold up everyday; if the Army folds up, we are in trouble as a nation)
  • The guaranteed pension plan (the day the military makes the pension plan go away completely is the day the country will truly be broke; you see Fortune 500 companies all the time doing away with their pensions; the government will surely be the last to go this route)
  • The interesting shopping booty from exotic locales at reduced prices and before they hit popularity in the States; Polish Pottery and Czech crystal immediately come to mind
  • The unexpected sight of my husband when he comes home early from work or gets an unexpected day off; even though he works long hours, it's nice to see him getting some free time when least expected (and the kids are in school)
What do you see as the benefits?

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21 Comments:

Anonymous Katt said...

I am not a military wife but hubby is seriously looking into it. As we were going over our options we started picking out little things that would be cool about the military. When I see a soldier I automatically feel this sense of pride and gratitude when I think of that soldier being my husband I'll admit I get a little queasy but the sense of pride and gratitude are multiplied also. We love to travel and so that to sounds fun. We have no healthcare and as you said right now that may be the defining thing. The thought of seeing my hubby in uniform or fatigues I must say makes me swoon a little. LOL. Most importantly the feeling of knowing he is doing something for others that he has a purpose other than just taking care of us. That he will be making that difference. I'm a bit of a selfish wife when it comes to my hubby so I think that the biggest change will have to be in me. Am I willing to do that well I guess I'll have to be.

October 3, 2007 at 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've gotten many free things! I have gotten concert tickets, show tickets, free gifts and dinners and even many handshakes and hugs from people thanking not just my husband for his service but me too! Our hometown even had a parade and party with my husband as the grand marshal the last time he came back from Iraq.

October 5, 2007 at 1:42 PM  
Anonymous Patrick said...

And so many more that you didn't mention because putting them into words is so hard to do. My wife and I both served, and I agree, there are hundreds of benefits to serving. Being a military spouse is not an easy task, but the rewards (not just monetary) are worth it. :)

October 10, 2007 at 2:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Andrea and I am thinking about joining the military but I only know how to type and do things on the computer. I don't know if there would be a spot they could use me in that would not require me to go to war. I have two children, one in pull-ups and the other in the 4th grade. This would a be a very serious decision to make for my family so I am trying to get all of the information that I can. You can email me at aromatheropy21@yahoo.com

March 25, 2009 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

You already have the wrong attitude. Go into the military with your eyes wide open and do your research. In today's world, you will at some point be in harm's way...it's a given...doesn't matter if you are male or female. Also, being a mother, it will be mandated that you have a family care plan, in writing, on who will take care of your children when (not if) you deploy, or for those times your unit does training. This person also has to agree on paper.

It can be done, but it takes a strong person to handle such things. As far as training, the Army will train you for everything it wants you to do. You won't be thrown into any situation without the training first...so that is one thing that you shouldn't be worrying about.

Talk to others, especially women in the military....good luck to you. It can be a great confidence builder, make you a stronger person and take care of you and your family financially, medically, etc. but don't look at it just as a free meal ticket...go into it for the right reasons.

March 25, 2009 at 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I am engaged to a soldier in the Army, we have been together for over seven months. We plan on getting married when he gets a weekend pass (he is in A.I.T.) I was wondering if the military offer counseling for military couples?

May 12, 2010 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Definitely and through the chaplain's office. Do you have a post or base near you? If so, your fiance can call there and make an appt. You won't be able to make an appt as a civilian just yet. Just google your state and "military base" or post...once you get to the base's website, look for the # for information or the onpost operator or search for the chaplain or ministry #.

May 12, 2010 at 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello i am so relieved to have found your blog, i am a 19 year old who is just finished her first year in college. my boyfriend is 21 and a great guy but just cant seem to find his footing. he is thinking about joining either the marines or the coast guard.... i have so many questions..
allyson.shaffier@yahoo.com

June 1, 2010 at 3:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boyfriend of 3 years is thinking of joining the Air Force. He is getting his mechanical engineering degree first. He keeps telling me about all the great benefits, like housing, good schools and his pension. But I don’t know if I am strong enough to be a military wife. What if this pulls us apart instead of bringing us together? That’s my biggest fear. Any advice would be appreciated.

October 23, 2010 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

I think it does take two mature people to make it work in the long term. Short term, people can pull thru just about anything...keep that in mind, as he is not signing up forever, just for that first enlistment....a few years most likely. Use that as a benchmark. I think back to the time I was a basic training company commander (in a previous life it seems) and even the men and women who "didn't cut it" in basic and had to be let go for medical or other reasons (mostly medical), even they grew as a person and were a much more confident and mature individual...so even in that short time, they were a better person for it. I see nothing but good when someone serves regardless if it's one month or 100! Give it a chance and know that there will be many, many women (spouses) like you with TONS of resources and support. The military is absolutely committed and looks at family as being tons more important than they used to..they know if they lose the family, they lose the soldier, and they just can't afford that right now!

You're doing the right thing by going online and reading military wife blogs:-) Good luck to you!

October 23, 2010 at 11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate stumbling across this blog as my husband is considering joining the military. I'm a military brat and in no way did I conceive that when I became an adult I would have to deal with being a military wife. He approached me recently about joining the military and out of our discussion I told him that if he decides to do that I would divorce him (and yeah I feel bad)but at the same time I just want to be stable. We just purchased our first home; have only been married for a year; and I am in school. We have no kids and I truly dont want to deal with being alone all the time while moving around. I am not even able to sale the house for 9 years because of the program that we used to purchase the home. I love him to death but for once in my life I just want to be in one place for more than 2 years at a time. I know it may sound selfish but this is the first time I am able to concentrate on myself without sacrificing anything for anyone as I have been doing since the beginning of our relationship. So helpless and confused...

October 27, 2010 at 1:07 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

And I appreciate that you took the time to sit down with your husband and talk about it BEFORE he enlisted...so many couples don't do that...and it just ends up planting the seeds of resentment that never quite go away.

I'm no expert in what makes one person embrace the life and another not...so I'm not even going to begin to guess! It sounds like you are tired..and being tired can make you want to stop.

Sorry I don't have any more advice for you....other than keeping the lines of communication open between yourself and your spouse and that marriage is a union of give and take...one spouse takes while the other gives, and then vice versa. Good luck to you!

October 27, 2010 at 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Brit said...

Hi, i am 19 years old and my fiancée is 22 and in the air force, he has been in for four years and is thinking about reenlisting, he wants my opinion but i'm not quite sure how to give one since i have never lived that life style. I am also in college and we were planning not to tie the knot till 2012 so i would only have a semester left but now he wants to move the wedding to this summer so he can reenlist. he tries to help me by answering the questions i have but i still have so many uncertainties that i just can't get out of my head. I just dont know what to say to him. i love him and yes i want to get married but i would love to have school out of the way at least a little bit. any advice?

November 17, 2010 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

I don't think I totally understand your question. Your fiance should be able to re-enlist married to you or not. I would say go with your gut feeling on this. You are awfully young and typically, I would personally want to wait until I finished school and was independent and on my own before getting married, with or without the military....but that's just me:-)

November 18, 2010 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger pink_suspenders said...

I'm a military girlfriend and I definitely can relate to feeling excited when my boyfriend is back from work early. I also love the military discounts we get when we go to the movies etc. Of course having to be apart sucks but each time we meet it's like honeymoon all over again!

May 2, 2011 at 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is angela my husband is in Afghanistan right now. I was kiced out of were I was staying and he's not giving me money at all. Idk what to do I need advice. Anyone

July 1, 2011 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Please contact your husband's First Sergeant or Commander...you are authorized to money from your husband whether he wants to give it to you or not. Also stop your onpost Legal Office to get advise on what to do next. If you are not near a base, go ahead and call the toll-free number of Military One Source (you'll find it doing a google search). They have counselors there who can advise you further. Sorry for your troubles!

July 1, 2011 at 2:50 PM  
Anonymous LAB said...

OMG! I am sooooo happy I stumbled across your blog!
Hubby is set for BCT in 2 months. We researched before the decision to sign up and we are doing heavy research now. I'm looking forward to a change in our lives. I love to travel and am an independent woman w/ a college degree. So I have been scouring the net for "wives" resources and experiences. I have to say, I am really getting fed up with all the whining. Look, no one WANTS to be w/o their soldier and the military IS what it IS, but there HAS to be GOOD and POSITIVE experiences of being a military spouse...right? I'm interested in the things I can look FORWARD to...not the emotional cauldron that is inevitable. I'm a PROACTIVE type of person. And, honestly, most all of the blogs I have read make me a bit apprehensive about the kind of "support" Mil wives have to offer. I, for one, plan to perk & positive the crap outta my hubby's Mil career and I hope and pray that I will be able to HELP others out there make a happy and adventurous life as a Mil wife.
So thank you thank you THANK YOU for being THE FIRST positive blog I have come across in many months! You have NO IDEA how important THIS page is to me and many anonymous others!!!!!!!
So, uh.....what can I look forward to? ;)

August 7, 2011 at 12:46 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Congrats! You can look forward to a life of all the things I write about:-) Welcome to one BIG family...with all the good and the bad, just like any other family but family it is!

August 7, 2011 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Congrats! You can look forward to a life of all the things I write about:-) Welcome to one BIG family...with all the good and the bad, just like any other family but family it is!

August 7, 2011 at 9:03 AM  
Anonymous LAB said...

I came across a book, 1001 Things to Love About Military Life, to be released in Nov of this year (2011) written by other military spouses. I cannot WAIT to get my hands on a copy!!!

August 15, 2011 at 12:56 AM  

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