It's a Dog Tag Wife Life

The musings of a non-conventional, soon-to-be Army Wife

Happy Wife, Happy Life? September 2, 2010

Filed under: Army,Life — It's a Dog Tag Wife Life @ 1:28 am
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I apologize that my first real post is a rant, but there was something that has been on my mind the last few days.

When we are kids, we have an allowance.  We have to earn it by doing chores around the house.  We aren’t entitled to money, that’s just not how the world works.

Yet, I find people wanting more and more.  The other day I visited the US Army fan page on Facebook.  They had a post about what kind of services people would like to see for the families and spouses of soldiers.  I thought it would be interesting to see what other people were saying, especially as I’m about to enter this world.  I  consider myself relatively aware of the options that I have, but wanted to hear what others had to say.  To say the least, I was astonished at what people were saying.

Without listing everything, some of the requests I saw were free healthcare (with the ability to go to whatever Dr. you want, no matter where they are or what their cost), free vision, free dental, free childcare, free housing, an allowance for food, free college education (for the military member and their spouse) plus a host of other things that ranged from guaranteed employment for spouses and military members after service to more pay for the soldiers to brand new housing to shorter deployments so that the families don’t have to be apart so long.  As someone who sees both sides, I almost fell off my chair, from anger.

I have been a civilian my whole life.  I have worked for the last five years.  I have paid for my insurance.  I’ve paid for a visit to the eye doctor, because I didn’t have vision insurance.  And then I thought about what the hunny gets.  Not only does he have insurance for health, dental, and vision, he gets a BAH (basic allowance for housing) and a ton of other benefits that people in the civilian sector just don’t get.  Now, not everyone may get all of these benefits, but in no way do I feel like people are being deprived from all of these.  And if I chose, I could get it too.  Right now, I really like my insurance (as well as my doctor) and I don’t want to give it up, but I work hard so that I can earn the insurance that I want.

I understand what we as military families have to give up, but when I hear these women and men stating how they want everything handed to them on a silver platter, I’m saddened.  Our guys and gals risk everything so that we can continue to be free.  And their families have it good!  I was looking at my insurance today, for a family to be on my providers insurance, it would cost around $3400 a year!  They don’t have to pay that.

When I look at it, I know what I am marrying into.  It’s a life I have chosen.  I understand that there are deployments that will keep him away from me.  It’s part of the life.  And when I hear that they want money for food, I’m baffled.  Besides all of the benefits, these men and women are getting a salary.  Yes, you may need to budget, but for many, the commissary is right there, another savings!

On the flip side, I do feel there are somethings that they are entitled to.  Lots of local business give military discounts, I completely feel that they (not just their spouse) are entitled to those.   Why should I have to bring the hunny with me to buy a computer or screwdriver when the money comes from the same account.  Also, when I hear that a service person has fallen, I do expect airlines to go out of their way to help people get home and people who are on the flight to understand why they are asked to give up a seat.  I also feel they are entitled to private funeral services instead of letting unwanted people be allowed to yell things at the family (I will get to that another day).

And while I may have not been in this situation for as many years as these other women and men, I don’t feel like I’m completely out of the loop.  I do believe that our service men and women deserve the best.  It’s when their spouses and family feel as though they deserve every possible provision because they married that person, even if the service member would never use it on their own.  When the hunny told me everything that he has access to and what is free, I was baffled, I couldn’t even begin to comprehend how much it would cost in the civilian world.  I bet they would be surprised at what life is like on “the other side”.

Don’t get me wrong, I truly appreciate what these families do, it’s not easy, I’m in the middle of doing it.  It’s hard.  And yes, they do deserve benefits, and good care at affordable prices, and a myriad of other things to make life easier, especially during deployments.  And there is a certain amount of things they are entitled to.  Respect, easily accessible information, and help when they truly need it. It’s when they want the whole kit and kaboodle without having to do anything for it.

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