Where Do MANspouses Go For Resources?
(Picture is of Wayne and his wife.)
There is something to be said regarding the importance of a military spouse engaging him/herself with other military spouses. It is of great benefit to become knowledgeable with the military life and resources available to us. We see it played out all the time both online and offline. Online there are literally tens of thousands of resources readily available for any and all military spouses. Some of these resources are well run organizations/businesses, and some are “simpler” spouse support pages on Facebook.
Online the military has done a fantastic job trying to meet the needs of military spouses and the families of servicemembers. These days you can find all sorts of resources to improve the quality of life we live, such as Military OneSource. Being that my spouse serves in the Army, I can say that without a doubt the Army is doing a heck of a job equipping military families with the tools necessary to navigate the sometimes murky waters of military life. Through Army Community Services (ACS) a MILspouse can be assisted in a variety of ways; there are classes and programs, such as Army Family Team Building, that can orient new spouses with a better understanding of Army life and assist families in financial planning.
The vast majority of organizations, businesses, and institutions look to reach all military spouses. Some of those in the private sector do focus on the wives of servicemembers, but the majority are not gender exclusive. However, that does not mean that most MILspouse resources are gender neutral.
The female military spouse outnumbers the male military spouse (MANspouse) nearly ten to one. But, believe it or not, there is a growing population of MANspouses also serving as members of “The Silent Ranks.” It is very difficult to get a definitive number of MANspouses, but my best guess puts the number of MANspouses married to active duty servicemembers around 100,000. Take out the dual military couples and my guess is you have roughly 65,000 civilian MANspouses. That is a significant number. Larger than what many of us would ever suspect. However, in the Army alone there are nearly 300,000 female military spouses (including dual military couples). The simple truth is that, as MANspouses, we are largely outnumbered, and the influence regarding resources available to military spouses is greatly swaying in one direction. And because the overwhelming majority of spouses are women, it only makes sense that nearly every event, gathering, and resource is geared in their direction.
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