Pros & Cons of Being a Military Wife
Joining the army affects the entire family in different ways. But the wife gets affected most. You are a heroine who keeps the home calm when the husband goes overseas to fight for the country. The Tricare, steady pay, guaranteed housing, and a fit husband are some of the benefits everyone knows. But what are the other benefits people rarely say? What drawbacks does the title a military wife bring? Being an army wife is an exciting undertaking if you are ready. You will only be prepared when you understand all the advantages and drawbacks you will face once you join the military community. Below is an in-depth explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of being a military wife.
Advantages of Being a Military Wife
Do you own a degree? If not, then you can enjoy education and training privileges as an army wife. You can use your spouse’s G.I. bill if he has been in the military for a particular number of years. However, in case he hasn’t, don’t worry as you have thousands of scholarship choices to select.
As a military wife, you get Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA). It is a scholarship of $4,000 that allows you to pursue either an associate degree, license, or certificate. A husband who is a reserve member, an active duty, or a guard earns you the education privilege. It is a privilege to anyone in the ranks; E-1 TO E-5, 0-1 TO 0-2, or W-1-W-2. You can start your program anytime, as long as your husband is in title 10, according to the military orders.
Besides, the V.A. offers Survivor’s and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program. It allows all the dependents of the military member to enjoy education opportunities. However, there are so many factors you should consider before applying for the veteran spouse benefit. For instance, your husband must have been in the military for more than 20 years. If not, he must retire medically from the military.
Also, most colleges will give a discount as an army wife. Liberty University is the most popular college that offers huge scholarships to service members and their families. They have vast online programs allowing you to study from anywhere.
2. Hiring preference
You have an advantage when it comes to government jobs. It comes in the form of hiring preference where you get priority in the job selection if you qualify.
3. Shopping benefits
Don’t you love it when you get great deals on groceries? When you are a military wife, you will enjoy great shopping deals at low prices at the commissary. You will save so much money for shopping through this benefit, which is popular as non-monetary compensation. DeCA operates these outlets, which are also home to the commissary. The bases contain everything fast foods, groceries, gas stations, shoes, clothing, and liquor stores.
The companies running the bases aren’t part of the navy, such as the navy exchange. However, they choose to commit a portion of their profits to fund military family programs. Besides, their products are cheap due to tax-exempt. You can get exceptional items such as furniture at a low cost.
4. Recreation benefits
Another benefit you accrue as a military wife. It is a government-subsidized recreation. Hence, you will enjoy golf courses, gyms, horse riding, and bowling at a little cost. Besides, your children also get to enjoy as most bases offer youth programs such as dance classes and sports clubs. Also, you will get discounts for various fun places such as Disney.
MWR works in various resorts in the world. You can hence, go on a vacation and enjoy yourself at a low cost. For instance, it operates on Virginia Beach, pacific beach, etc. You can search for the places where your MWR base covers by consulting them. You should also learn the services it includes at each resort.
As a military spouse, you will significantly benefit from vast work out opportunities. It is so easy to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Besides, your husband has to remain physically fit, which is a bonus to encouraging you. Moreover, you might go to the gym together when he’s at home. The base might offer several marathon races, which you can participate in if you enjoy running.
As a military spouse, you also get to enjoy daycare services as most bases offer. Due to their cost-effectiveness, the daycare waiting list may belong. Fortunately, they also subsidize officially approved home daycares.
Also, it caters to people who do not live near the base, and there isn’t any on-base childcare. It subsidizes certain civilian daycares.
Be sure to also check out “Things To Know Before Looking For A Babysitter” so you know some of our tips when deciding on a babysitter if needed.
For instance, in the U.S., military wives enjoy the patriot express program, which provides initial capital if you want to establish your business. Also, the program could finance the expansion of your business. Besides the interest rates are very low, it lies between 2.25 and 4.75%. The Small Business Association is in charge of the Patriot Express Program. It guarantees 85% of the loan you are securing. You can get a loan of even up to $500,000.
From financial benefits to childcare, there is also a wide range of counseling services that you can get at an affordable price. The counseling could be individual or group sessions. Thus, you get the opportunity to ease yourself during stressful situations.
8. Unemployment compensation
A PCS move brings along a lot of confusion, especially if you decide to move together. It can be a hard task finding another job and interacting with new people. Lucky for you, the government provides unemployment compensation. The compensation helps you have some income before getting another job. It is compensation to help spouses who lost their jobs due to PCS move.
9. Transfer license
Non-military partners will often have to move from location to location. Due to different licensure laws in different states, it would be impossible to continue driving. The state thus offers temporary licensure to the members. Therefore you will continue to enjoy driving even in a new state as you process a license from the new country.
You get to enjoy travel privileges through the MWR as it offers great deals on tickets to events. Besides, it could help you when you are making your travel arrangement. Space-A could help you get seats at DoD owned aircraft. You will have a free flight in the military planes. Besides, you experience different cultures and learn new languages. Also, you get a chance to visit the appealing sceneries in the various deployment.
11. Promotes patriotism
You will have a direct encounter with the hardships the military goes through to protect the nation. Thus, you’ll be more appreciative of the military. Well, freedom is expensive, and no one can explain this better than you as you see your husband trying so hard to protect the nation. Thus, national holidays such as Memorial Day will have significance in your life.
12. Health care
Military families enjoy healthcare coverage through Tricare. It is an insurance company for the military, which ensures they can pay and access healthcare services. It does not cover the servicemen only but also their families. Thus, you get to enjoy the low cost and sometimes free medical care. There are two types of Tricare. One covers the medically retired military member’s families. The second Tricare covers guards and reserve’s family. Thus every spouse of the military has an army cover.
Besides, they also enjoy military life insurance. However, joining it is optional. As a military wife, you get about $100,000 coverage on life insurance. However, children can only get $10,000. It ensures the dependants’ coverage remains at minimal so that it does not exceed the military member coverage.
13. Wide social circle
If you enjoy meeting new people, then you will love the military life. When you move with your husband to his new deployment area, you get a chance to make new friends. In the new base, you will meet military wives who are very friendly, who understand your situation quite well.
Although it will be sad to get separated again, you will have friends all over the country. Since they are in the same situation, you will understand each other better. Thus you may end up being friends forever. Besides, when you go to a particular country say Spain, you get to know which base your friend lives. Just like that, you have a place to spend the night.
14. Housing allowance
Every military service person gets a house allowance, which is non-taxable. The servicemen receive the benefit every two weeks. Being a military wife, you have an assurance that your husband will settle the house rent without straining. The amount received depends on the station where you live. Military members in hardship duty areas receive better remuneration. Fortunately, whether you live in the duty station or with the civilians, you will still receive your allowance. It covers about 97% of the total rent cost.
15. Unique experiences
As an adventurous wife, you will get so many ways to spice up your marriage. You will get an opportunity to live every civilian’s dream. You will have a chance to participate in the military ball. Annually you get this opportunity to relive your wedding. You can wear your gown, get a pedicure and manicure. You can apply perfect makeup and enjoy the night party with your husband.
You get a better understanding of the history running of the military. You get the chance everyone wishes to visit so many countries. You are lucky to have the opportunity to see most scenery which, to most, will forever be just a picture.
16. Tidy house
Don’t you break your ribs at the unrelatable stories your friends tell you of forever cleaning the mess their husband left behind? Well, that’s how lucky you are. The military training did you the favor of polishing him. Thus, you will never have a hard time telling him to spread the bed. Your husband may come off as neater than you. Besides, he is mostly at work and rarely spends time at home.
17. Physically fit lifestyle
As a military wife, it is simple to lead a physically fit life since your spouse’s job requires him to be in good physical shape. He will encourage you to exercise regularly and even want you to join him when he works out. Additionally, you can access several gyms on the military base and have lots of space to run and walk on the base.
Be sure to also check out “Best Ways To Lose Weight As A Stay At Home Mom” for a guide on exercise techniques to get you going.
Disadvantages of Being a Military Wife
You have probably made peace with the separation that comes with your husband’s deployment. But, I’m sure you will never be ready to spend most of your marriage life alone. It is easier for civilians to assume that your husband spends most of the time at home. However, only you know that this is countable times.
There is always a duty to attend to in-field operations. Besides, the few days your husband spends at home will involve getting up early for work and long days when he will be at work. It gets worse if you have kids as you will have man the house. The situation forces you to act as a single parent who is not a happy zone. It isn’t any better if you have no kids as you will be in the house alone.
2. Your job remains unrecognized
Sometimes you will be put in a position where you have to choose between your career and his. Unfortunately, you will have to give up your career for your husband to be successful in his job. You are on the safe side if your job is a nurse. Take a look at “Best Places to Look For Online Typing Job Opportunities” for an interesting option for a job switch.
When it comes to other careers, it will be demanding as you will be on the move every three years at maximum. It is impossible to get an employer to employ you for only three months. Besides, it may result in some tension in your marriage especially if you invested a lot in your career.
Make sure you also check out “Best Paying Online Teaching Jobs For Stay at Home Moms” to see if you are able to teach certain skills you have online.
3. Military service comes first
You will need assistance from your husband’s military service most of the time. Also, your needs and desires will be subject to your spouse’s branch service. For instance, your spouse may want to celebrate your anniversary together. If he is deployed or sent to the field operations, then that will not happen. You will always come second after his military service.
Besides, you will learn military terms. Thus, your civilian friends may ask about an army operation, but it will be tough to answer using simple civilian terms.
4. Distanced from home
Your husband may get deployed to a distant state. It will force you to leave your family or your spouse’s family. Thus, you will miss significant occasions such as your parent’s birthday, anniversaries, and baby shower.
Does the idea of bringing up your kids in a foreign land make you excited? It will be even worse when you have to take up the role of both the father and mother without getting any help from family.
It is the most challenging part and the cause of marriage hardships in the military. Your husband could face deployment to any country around the world. The deployment should take place within the shortest time possible. It is hard to make the arrangements. You probably will agree that it’s heartbreaking to see the kids break down as they bid the dad goodbye.
It gets even hard when your spouse has to move to a war area. Often at such a time, you will require a therapist or close friends to help you keep calm. Besides, even when the deployment is to a peaceful area, it is sad to get separated from family and friends.
Although there are wives who quickly adjust to the life of a military spouse, some find it a challenge. You may find it impossible to adapt to the uncertainties and instability it brings. A lower military rank may result in discrimination. Thus, it becomes difficult to interact and make friends with other military spouses.
Also, it can affect you psychologically if you are in a foreign land. It will be hard to adjust to the new culture and learn a new language. Besides, you may not be able to secure legal employment due to the laws. When you add the worry of your husband’s safety and your loneliness, it may result in psychological problems.
When you move to a new area, you get pushed beyond your comfort zone, which may be challenging. Besides, trying to befriend people who grew up in the area all their lives is frustrating. Not that it makes them unfriendly, but adjusting to a new comfort zone can be daunting. Due to constant movements, it becomes hard to make long-lasting friendships.
Every marriage has its difficulties, and as a military woman, you are no exception. You have to grow stronger out of the challenges. From the list above, you can see that the benefits outweigh the weaknesses. Besides, the deployment period will make you miss him and notice his value when he’s around. The sweet homecoming parties and receiving long love letters can be fascinating. It also gives you so much freedom to pursue your talents and hobbies. Also, your child gets undivided attention. The career is also among the most vital, consider yourself lucky.
Thank you for reading with us today! Be sure to check out similar articles to help you find a nice income like “21 Creative Ways to Make Money as a Stay at Home Mom” or “Make Money as a Stay-at-Home Mom With These Hobbies“.
Join the conversation on our Facebook Group to share your story as a military wife and see what other military wives are saying. Check out our Instagram and Pinterest for more fun content on motherhood. See you there!