Military Life

The True Cost of Being a Military Spouse

Being a military spouse is a job. A job that requires grace and standing on your head while sewing new rank onto your spouse’s 15 sets of uniforms. It’s a job that commands that you hold your head high while certain people question or scoff at the value of your position.

Let me tell you a story that you probably already know a little too well.

A young girl is told by her parents that she can do anything, that she can be anything she wants to be, as long as she sets her mind to it. She works hard in school and graduates at the top of her class. She sets her sights high and has high career aspirations.

In college, she meets the man of her dreams. This young man, too, has big dreams. His dreams involve serving his country and protecting their freedom. As college comes to an end, the young man receives orders to be stationed overseas and the young girl must make a choice – chase after the career that she has been working towards all these years or choose the man that has unexpectedly entered her life and has become her life. She chooses love. Five years later she takes a moment to reflect and decides that if she could go back in time, she would still make that same choice all over again. She would choose love. She would always choose love.

That does not mean that it has been an easy journey. Life as a military spouse has been a bumpy ride – a worthwhile ride, but a bumpy ride nonetheless. In the early days of being a military spouse overseas, I struggled with the transition from being independent to being a dependent. I no longer had an identity other than being a dependent. I had my husband’s social security number memorized better than my own. I couldn’t even pay my own cell phone bill without my husband present or a power of attorney.

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  • I was born a military brat with both parents serving on active duty, then became a soldier going to boot camp with older and younger sisters and have for 16 years been a military spouse. My resume from all appearances looks like I am unreliable, frequent deployments, transfers and away trainings have many times caused me to have to quit and sit at home. The expense of childcare has always been more than the job paid although I have three college degrees to my name which have been useless to me and now age is factoring into the equation now. I struggle to get through everyday while my husband is on a ship, one daughter in college and another in middle school, retirement for him is coming soon but financial stability is still a dream.

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