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Ask VMW: I Want to Go Overseas with My Boyfriend!

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Ask VMW: I Want to Go Overseas with My Boyfriend!

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.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ask VMW: I Want to Go Overseas with My Boyfriend!

I do seem to get this next question a lot....ahhhhh, young love!

"I am currently state side and will be moving to Germany with my boyfriend in August.  As far as the visa goes, my question had more to do with staying in the country for longer than 90 days if I'm planning on marrying someone who is based there?  I understand that the benefits do not exist in any such way when it comes to military, but I'm just trying to make sure things between him and I are more than the right thing before we plan some shot gun wedding."

And here is my response:

I know a few girls who came over with their BF...the ones with a good education, job credentials and good resume, got a job while they were stateside (by far the easiest method but not necessarily easy to achieve as the process is VERY competive whether you go the contractor route or the government path).  You should ideally be able to support yourself over here without your BF's help.

If you follow him on your tourist visa, you will have NO support.  I know of one girlfriend who was in a car accident...minor but expensive...she ended up having to go back to the US after her accident and their relationship did not survive.

Depending on what your boyfriend's rank is, he may or may not be allowed to live off post.  A new rule requires that all Staff Sergeants - (E6s and below) MUST live in single soldier housing on post.  That would mean without you.  If your BF had a higher rank and could live off post, you'd still be stuck.  You would be on your tourist visa and limited to 90 days in country.  You would not be able to go on post unless he signed you in every time (and out) or your BF could take you and a copy of your flight itinerary to get you a temporary pass issued, which would cover you and allow you to go on post with or without him escorting you.  Your pass will expire the day after your flight itinerary shows you are to return back to the US.

Even though you can travel freely on and off post with a pass, you will not be able to shop at any of the onpost establishments without a military or military dependent ID no grocery shopping or otherwise (unless you shop offpost with Euros).

You will also be unable to get a job off post on the German economy with a tourist visa, unless you happen to work "under the table" somewhere and not too many businesses would be willing to go out on a limb for you like that.  In the end, you could end up being a burden rather than a welcome sight!  Trust me on this one!

My suggestion, and take it for what it's worth to you, is to set up regular visits.  If your boyfriend is on an unaccompanied tour (without dependents or family), then it will only be two years...visit him twice a year, and do regular internet chats, webcams, letters and whatever you need to do...this will also be a good test for you to see if your love can last....most of us veteran wives have found out that being apart actually makes your relationship stronger!  Also, if your BF comes overseas...what will you do when he gets deployed for six months to a year or whatever, depending on his job.  I'd say two years apart with some visits mixed in is a great opportunity and test for your relationship...if you can soldier thru that, your relationship can last thru ANY deployment and in today's military, there will be many...not just one or two.  AND your relationship has a better chance of survival!

Again, just my opinion...but I know what I'm talking about...I have counseled dozen of young wives and a few girlfriends...just something to think about it.



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