There have been some crazy articles in the Military Spouse world lately asking for benefits that I have NEVER EVER heard of. And they are sounding like crazy people so let’s break them down (and apologies in advance but I rant a bit):
An officer’s wife wrote into a Navy publication upset that she/her car were no longer being saluted at her duty station when she drove on post. Personally I’ve never experienced this when I’m in the car by myself. When my husband is driving us onto post he is saluted, but salute a wife? I didn’t even think this was a thing. Apparently it is…kinda.
- This wife claims she’s “worked hard …and should be recognized” with a salute, the traditional greeting for an officer by enlisted service members. She’s no longer seeing this at the gate and worries about the “laxness” of the military
- The answer’s 1st line: “Wow. That’s quite a sense of entitlement you have.”
- It continues on the history of salutes (started by the Romans to indicate they weren’t armed) and that it’s customary between military members to recognize officers
- That the sentries or guards at the gate are working hard at what their real job is: protecting the base, not rendering salutes.
But basically the answer is no, spouses aren’t really supposed to be saluted. Cars of officers can be but that’s about it (I saw this once when a General drove by). I talked to my husband about this because I always thought any lower ranked person saluted higher ranked persons, but that’s not the case. It’s only to Officers (learn something new everyday!).
But that’s not really the point: as a wife I have never expect to be treated differently than any other person – military or not. I’m happy to have my benefits and support of others while my husband serves. Yeah I’m sounding a bit cheesy but it’s true. My husband is the one serving, wearing the uniform everyday, not me. Do I make sacrifices? Sure, but I never see that as a sign or excuse or right to be treated any differently.
(Thanks to Julie for sharing this story! If you have an blog topic you’d like me to write about feel free to email me.)
Then there is this officer’s spouse who I honestly have no words for. She is a fellow LT’s wife who I have no but so many words for – just read her question to Ms. Vicki.
Apparently someone told her that wives get a stipend, and a nice one at that. Oh how I wish that was true. And every other military spouse out there. Like Ms. Vicki I would like to know where she heard this. If you are a dependent your Soldier does get more pay (in his BAH and BAS) but that’s it. You get health insurance, base access, etc. But that’s all. Quite simple stuff. And personally, I don’t think I’d ever ask for more.
To be frank, I think this couple needs to establish a budget. LT’s make enough to live just fine. It’s a middle class salary to be honest. And while yes I have worked the entire time we’ve been married aka we’ve had two incomes, I know many spouses of all ranks (including LTs and enlisted) that live fine on one income – and some of those people have kids too! Also, go look at what enlisted soldiers make, then look back at the LT pay, now reassess.
But I am still a bit shocked by this question, and her attitude to be honest. Warning: rant starting now…sorry if I offend anyone in advance.
Let’s start with the money: A budget is an amazing tool. I started with a simple one when I was living on my own after college, and now we have a pretty complex one that includes savings, all our payments broken down by date, and even a future outlook (it’s intense). But it’s simple: look at what you make each month (after tax), every bill, every expense. See where you can cut. See where you have wiggle room to make a hair appointment or go shopping. I promise it’s there. But if you still feel strapped for cash – a job is great as Ms. Vicki pointed out. Find what you love, or heck what you like if you need the money that badly, and enjoy life. Getting certified in a state can be difficult, this particular spouse is an educator, if you can’t make it happen then look for similar jobs like tutoring or education related. It’s a great experience, who knows maybe you’ll find a passion for something else you love. I know it’s been hard for me to transition into new jobs but I’m so glad I have.
On meeting people: it is hard. And there are people out there that you won’t mesh with. But there are so many opportunities to find people. Volunteer. Join a club. Keep going to FRG events because maybe you’ll find someone there that you really click with. I admit I got lucky with my first FRG and made amazing friends, now that we have switched units I am getting to know people again from the beginning – it’s hard and I’m sure I’ll encounter people that I like and don’t like, but I need to talk to them a lot before making a final judgement.
As an officer’s wife (and an Army wife in general) I’m a bit appalled by both of these ladies. Like I said, I don’t really expect much out of the “job.” I’m married to the person I love and he happens to serve and be an officer. I go through the same things as enlisted and other officer wives – deployments, field training, long distance, long hours, buying a new required piece of equipment not accounted for in the budget, etc. But never in a million years do I want anything extra for that. I’m just happy that we can be together when we can and that we’re sharing our life together (yep getting cheesy again but going there). If he worked in a civilian job I’d expect to be eligible for healthcare too and we’d still make a budget, and I still wouldn’t want to be treated any differently by anyone he worked with. Rant over. I needed to get it out of my system.
What do you make of all of this? Any tips for these ladies? Or expectations you have as a military spouse? Share below in the comments!