The minute I explain that my husband works for the military to non-military affiliated people, it usually comes with a pause, than a barrage of questions. Explaining military life to a non-military person or civilian friends can be interesting and funny (and sometime times offensive). It’s also entertaining when I seem to get just about the same questions every time. Here are the ones I get a lot. What about you?
The Honest Truth: Here are the Answers to FAQ’s of Being a Military Spouse
Are you going to work while he’s active duty?
It depends on our financial situation, the job market, the kids, his schedule.
It must be hard to keep a career when you’re moving around all of the time.
Yes. Yes it is.
I don’t know how do you do it? I could never be with someone who’s gone all the time.
I must be more awesome than you are.
Do you get lonely?
Sometimes. Sometimes we’re far apart from our family and friends. Sometimes we’re far apart from one another. I’m thankful that I’ve met some other people from the military and local communities that make military life a little bit easier.
What does he do for the military?
He works in aviation. Anything more detailed than that may confuse you (because it confuses me sometimes).
Does he kill people?
My husband does not. Infantry or Direct combat service members… possibly.
Do you ever worry he’s going to cheat on you?
I heard everyone in the military cheats?
…ok… again… No. Not going to lie, it does happen. You hear stories but a few scandalous stories does not make the truth.
Are you guys rich/Are you guys poor/How much does he(she) make?
Look up the military pay chart. Then look up the BAH calculator. While you’re at it, look up “nosy” too.
Do you get everything for free?
No. They get money for uniforms, but that rarely covers all the uniforms. They may get money for food, but only for the service member. Insurance is free for the service member but varies for dependents. They receive BAH as well (money for housing) but it’s part of their pay therefore housing is not free either. It’s not taxed, but it’s still not free.
Do you get free housing?
(see above question)
Do you have to live in base?
Some installations (particularly overseas) may require you to live on base. However, it varies from duty station to duty station. For the most part, we choose whether or not we live on base.
What are you going to do when he deploys?
Life keeps going. We try to talk to each other as often as possible, the separation is always hard because we love each other so much. Still, we will get through it.
How long does he deploy for?
Anywhere from four – twelve months (yes 12!). He has small trips in order to prepare for deployment and those last a few weeks.
Are deployments like a long business trip?
No. Nothing like a business trip. Don’t ever compare it to a business trip ever again. Ever.
Do you guys get to talk when he’s deployed?
Yes but mostly it’s few and far between. I can’t predict when he will call or message me. It’s whenever he gets a chance. You may hear of other deployments when the servicemembers gets frequent communication with their loved ones. Every deployment is different.
Are you afraid he’s going to die?
….Terrified, and that’s why I would prefer not to talk about it.
Are you used to him being gone all the time?
No. And I will never be.
Will you move a lot?
Most likely yes. However, you will meet the unicorn couple that got to stay in one place for 10+ years.
Do you guys get a say in where you want to live?
There are options and they are ranked, but as far as the final say, no.
Can he push his deployment back so he will be here for ______?
When does he get out?
He plans to be career-military so sometime after 20 years he’ll (we’ll) be done with the active duty life.
Do you guys need anything?
We’re very fortunate to be very blessed. All we need is your support, an ear to listen, and sometimes a shoulder to cry on.
…Some wine doesn’t hurt, though. Neither does a freezer meal. And maybe a few hours of babysitting every now and then. Ok I’ll stop now.
What’s it like being married to someone in the military?
I am married to my soulmate. Military or no military, he’s my person. The military just makes life a little more interesting for us.
Want more on military life? Read the Modern Military Spouse Book below.