Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Army Life

I'd like to set the record straight on some preconcieved notions about how glamorous Army Life is. While I wouldn't have my life any other way than with my soldier, I'm not so sure I'd recommend this life to my children? Do I want them to serve? I would be proud to have my children serve any branch of the Armed Forces but, to be a service member you have to sacrifice family and to be a spouse of a service member you sacrifice tiny peices of yourself and you also sacrifice family. I suppose people could argue that you have to do that in any profession, I only know what it's like to be part of this world though. Maybe I should go back to my first statement, that I'd like to set the record straight about Army Life.
I would start with what is argued the most and that is the pay. Facts and statistics show that soldiers make much less than their civilian counterparts while doing double the work load. There is this notion that we (soldiers and family members) receive free healthcare. Soldiers go to the Troop Medical Center for everything. Family members have the option of Tricare Prime or Standard. With Prime we go to the Army Medical Facility closest to where we live. With Standard we are given the option of choosing a medical provider in the local community that has been approved by Tricare. If we need specialized care, we have to get referrals approved and then we have to go where they send us. We also have the option of getting our medications on post, but if we have to go off post for medications (say we see a Dr. outside of our normal Dr. IE the local ER) we have to pay a co-pay just like civilians do. If the spouse is employed and carries insurance or has insurance other than Tricare, they must use that insurance first and then and only then will Tricare kick in. I can't complain about the medical care too much. There is always a long wait at the ER so I avoid it if at all possible, you don't always get Dr.s you like, appreciate or who you think know what they are doing. Sometimes you get Dr.s who are just going through the motions and want to use you as a drug test dummy. We still have to make appointments just like civilians, and sometimes we're lucky enough to get treated well. Civilians should note that just because we get free healthcare doesn't necessarily mean it's good AND that doesn't mean soldiers should get paid less than you just because they don't pay for healthcare (sometimes they do pay for it).
Lets talk a moment about TV vs. Reality... The Unit is TV there aren't really wives who do their own missions w/ our elite Delta Force or Special Forces. Reality is wives do the bills, the laundry, the cleaning, maybe the cooking, the wiping of childrens snotty noses and dirty butts, they walk the animals, they do the shopping and they say "yes babe, everything is going good here, you focus on deployment" even when the world is tumbling down around them. Army Wives (Lifetime) is TV. Reality is yes some wives are friends, yes there are a few you can depend on, but, most Army Wives don't walk around in high heels, designer jeans, run Hump Bars, have our own base talk shows, all of our housing and pay problems aren't that easily solved and our soldiers deploy for more than a few episodes at a time. With that being said, I have one pair of designer jeans, I wear them with heels, sometimes I dress up just to remember that I am beautiful and I don't have to have any particular reason to do so, and I can still juggle the house and the kids while doing so.
There are beautiful things to being an Army Wife living an Army Life.... traveling all over the country and to other countries.... Each of my kids being able to say they were born in a different city and state..... I have made the most amazing, wonderful friends that I could ask for (naming all of you would take up too much space)..... I am on the longest Hawaiian Vacation ever! Yes sometimes it sucks and sometimes it's boring, but I got to come here on the governments dollar, the beach is gorgeous and the weather is fine.

Here's a few quotes I got from other people
http://www.armywifenetwork.com/ ...it's pretty amusing and so true.
You know you're an Army Wife When....
-You pack up your house every 3 years and move across country.
-You know the words to the Army Song, and Division Song and you sing them at every military event.
-You carry an ACU purse and diaper bag and you know what ACU stands for.
-You know what BAH, HDP/FDP, BAS, COLA mean and you know to take your butt to finance IMMEDIATELY if any of these are missing.
-Your baby points to every soldier in uniform and says "DaDa"
-Your children yell "Hi Daddy" when your Skype starts chimming.
-You see your spouse more on the computer than in person.
-You know his SS# better than your own
-Hurry up and wait is an acceptable, normal part of life.
-You see your family only for weddings and funerals if you can swing the airfare.
-You sleep with the computer IM on, the cell phone, and the house phone turned max volume, just in case.
-You post Happy Birthday US Army on your FB/Myspace/Twitter
-The ready for deployment Ruck is considered furniture in your livingroom.
-You tell your kids there's going to be a Korean Air Defense Drill today that when it does they need to go inside, and it doesn't phase them.
-You answer questions with words like "roger" and "hooah"

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