Military Life

Historical Stereotypes: Whiny Dependa or MilSpouse Powerhouse?

There are stereotypes that reference every aspect of a human’s entire existence…race, gender, sexual orientation, class status…you name it, there’s a stereotype attached to it, including military spouses

Last month’s edition of Historical MilSpouse we covered Officer Spouse vs. Enlisted Spouse rankism.

Next on the list: Whiny Dependa or MilSpouse Powerhouse?

Military benefits shouldn’t be a controversial topic, but they are. For America it’s a no brainer: Take care of the troops and their families and they’ll be better equipped to take care of YOU. Many people have fought hard on behalf of our service members and their families to ensure they have what they need…to include military spouses.

There are so many of us who take our concerns to the hilltops (or literally to Capitol Hill) in an effort to make military life better for our service members and our families. And who better to speak to our decision makers about military issues than those who live the military life?

Sadly however, some people tend to think military spouses who question the status quo are “entitled whiners” who should be “happy with whatever” we get.

Whenever I hear someone say that we should be grateful for what we have, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I want to say that we ARE grateful…really, we are! On the other hand, when I hear someone say this, I kinda want to throat-punch them.

Here’s why:

The benefits our military members and their families receive are retention and readiness tools. The premise is that our (now) all-volunteer force has incentive to remain in the service and the resources to take care of their families so they can concentrate on the mission. If these benefits are inadequate or broken, people will begin to speak up. Some of those people will be military spouses. There are numerous benefits that exist today because military spouses decided speak up.

Take the Survivor Benefit Plan for example. Back in 1969, a group of military wives were sitting around the kitchen table wondering what on Earth they could do to help their war-widowed friends. You see, back then when a service member passed away, that was it. The widow was left with nothing more than a folded flag and a financial nightmare. Those military spouses said “something has to be done” … and they did something. They worked tirelessly for years and in the end helped create the legislation that we now know as the Survivors Benefit Plan. Those spouses were the founding mothers of the National Military Family Association.

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