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Military Wives
#1
Hey guys Smile I know there's some women here who live/have lived on base with their military husbands and I'm wondering what it's like. My boyfriend and I have future plans together (not wanting to jinx anything lol, so knocking on wood) and he wants to join the military. I'm not too sure how everything works but from what he's tried to explain, after boot camp he'd have to move onto a base or at least nearby one for a few years. When he does, I'm going to be moving out with him Big Grin He's been bugging me to talk to anyone who would know about life on base because he thinks I'll die of boredom or loneliness, so here I am Huh

I read up a little bit and heard it's like living in a gated community; I've never lived in one but I can sort of imagine? I'm more worried about if/when he gets deployed somewhere. I'm also not a very social person at all so I don't know how I'd get along with everyone else there, so I hope internet is nice and speedy? Hahaha. What do you do while you're on base? Can you/do you get a job? Not sure if thats necessary since it seems you are given everything on base, so do you just find something to do?
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#2
Well, it would have helped if you mentioned which service he is considering. Being retired USAF as of 20+ years ago, I can give you a good idea what life is like in the military. Lets look at how life is in the Air Force. 6 weeks of basic training followed by up to a year of tech school to learn your job. Then finally get your first assignment. Not sure of the current regs, they have a tendency to change with the economy, but not being married means you do not have base priviledges. You can not get base housing, you can't shop at the BX, you can't go to the commissary (grocery store), and you do not get medical either. He gets all the above, you don't. You live downtown on the ecoomy. You pay rent, utilities, etc. just like any other civilian family. Once again, not sure of the current regs, but he may not be allowed to live off base or draw quarters allowance or separate rations (eating allowance). He can still do it, he just isn't doing it officially. Therefore, you will have to work to make ends meet. Now, if you are married, you may be eligible for base housing. Then its great. He gives up his quarters allowance and you get a house. Then you may still have to take a job to make ends meet. Military pay at the lower ranks is not the greatest - nor is it in the higher enlisted ranks. You have to mow the lawn and weed the flowers, in other words keep the place looking nice. Any problems, heater quits, water leak, whatever, the civil engineers fix it at no cost to you. If he deploys on temporary duty, meaning he is returning back to that base again, you stay where you are and live the best you can without him. When he gets back, you put your life back together. Most of the time moves to another base you go with him. there are a very few plces you can't go to but not many. Quite job dependent also. Altogether life in the military is good. They take good care of you. But it is a whole different world. Not everyone can conform to it. Personally, I liked it and still miss working on those big planes. And don't think that the Hollywood military you see in the movies is what life is like, it isn't. They have a tendency to highly exagerrate some things and totally mess up others. I fyou have specific questions, please ask. I may not be able to answer hem but we have active duty personnel here who probably can.
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#3
I know he wants to be a Marine, but he has to work up his ASVAB scores and there was something about a past injury that stopped him from joining a few years ago. If he can't join the Marines then I don't know what his next choice is. I think it's Air Force. As for Hollywood military- I think the only "military" movie I've ever seen was Inglorious Basterds, lol...and our future plans I mentioned did involve marriage.
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#4
I can't help you much with the marines. That is a different world from what I was in. Do we have any Marines on the board that can offer this couple some help?
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#5
Okay I am an active duty military wife, currently stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I can tell you right now, the military DOES NOT treat their members the same way they did years ago. I grew up in an Army town, Columbus, GA it's right next to Ft. Benning. I grew up thinking military life was great, they got treated great etc. But then I'd say, about 2005ish things went down hill. I remember before I met my husband, there was a military couple that lived in the same apartment complex as me, this was in 2007 or so. Both husband and wife were Army. They had a baby, while she was pregnant her husband was deployed to Iraq, he died over there in one of the bomb incidents. Soon after the baby was born (I thought this was illegal to do), they deployed her!!! The baby was left with a grandmother, and shortly before I moved out, I heard she died over there as well. So now the child is orphaned, and from what I heard they are not giving crap to the family for losing the two parents.

I see it in the news all the time, military TV's get channels that civilians don't, that people are hurt overseas and the government doesn't give near as much as they should. I think your boyfriend should reconsider, but that's my opinion. My husband is getting out. We leave here April and he's officially out in July. My husband has injuries from being in and they are NOT helping him!!! They really don't care. And the military doctors suck, really bad. They give you motrin for EVERYTHING!! I mean yes, this base is safer than living in the civilian world, but I would rather do that then put up with what we have been putting up with. Okay this base for example. I've heard is the worst for some things. Like we have the worst internet ever. We pay for high speed $60/month, yet it's SLOWER than dialup in the states. I work online, this has put a BIG damper on my work, thus putting a financial bind on us. There isn't much to do on the base. There are some beaches, they are rocky not sandy, there is a bowling alley, outdoor theater, sometimes there are concerts but they are always very packed, there are only a few restaurants and the NEX/commisary is very small and it's our only store. They have limited selection and I end up having to order everything online, shipping prices are ridiculous to here and it takes 2-8 weeks to get ANYTHING ordered because of how slow the mail runs. There is a monopoly here with the companies, so they block alot of stuff. The use of any type of voip is blocked, including skype. So I have problems calling and talking to family. It's very expensive to call the states, the phone prices are outrageous, I don't have a cell phone because of it.

Now in regards to what wishful was saying, some of it is true, some of it not anymore. Like okay, you CANNOT live with him on base without you two being married, period. This is one of the reasons I got married as fast as I did. You will not get medical benefits without being married. He can live off base being single, but he will NOT get much unless he's married. He cannot live off base unless he's at least an E4 rank (corporal in the Marines), when he gets out of bootcamp you are an E2 or E3 (sorry don't know Marine ranks well). Also if he joins the Marines, don't plan on seeing him for the first 2 years he is in! DO NOT LISTEN TO RECRUITERS THEY LIE!!! So if you don't get married he will have to pay for his own housing off base for you to live together, that is if he is a high enough rank. And that is IF he is stationed where you can do that! Where we are now, there is NO living off base! And you can bring family here, but you have to be married. Hubby just told me Marines come here without family and are stationed here for a year. So if he were stationed here (which btw he has no choice in where he is stationed) he would be away from you for that amount of time. Leave is I believe 30 days per year, but you can only take 2 weeks at a time. So he could see you 2 times per year for 2 weeks, that's it. And if you think, "I can handle long distance, there is webcams and other stuff". Think again. I was in the states 4 months before I could come here, me and my hubby tried that, the sucky internet here won't allow for it.

And yes, I agree with wishful, pay for low ranks will not be enough to support you both, it can only support him if he lives in base in the barracks. And ranking up is a very small percentage right now. And if you don't get to certain ranks within a certain amount of time, they kick you out!

Why is he wanting to go into the Marines??? They have it the hardest! Like here on base, the Army and Marines have to worst housing, the Marines are worked like dogs, and you know when they go to war... umm... I'm trying to put this nicely as possible... my hubby is Navy, they call the Marines "bullet sponges" which means they are on the front line, taking all the bullets. The Marines have the highest rate of DEATHS!!! If he joins I'd say Air Force or Navy would be his best bet. Hubby says Air Force would be smartest. But yea, he needs to talk to people that have been in at least 3 years, not new recruits, not people who have made it a career and plan on going 20 years, and not recruiters. I really think he should reconsider and maybe find something in the civilian world he'd much rather do. Unless he's going in to get college paid for, that's another story. Hubby is getting out, getting the GI Bill and going to school. I think that program is amazing in itself, and probably the best the military has to offer.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask.
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#6
What happened to that child's parents in your old apartment complex is terrible Sad I can't imagine how that must feel. I bet the child grew up hating the government lol...

The reason he wants to join the military is because he doesn't feel like he has any other choice. I'm in college right now, but he wasn't given that chance to continue school and wants to be able to support a family. Joining the marine's was something he wanted to do since high school, I guess because they're the toughest. He never considered AF because you need high ASVAB scores to get in and he's never scored high enough in practice runs. I'm trying to help him raise his scores but deep down, even though I support his decisions, I really don't want him to go military Sad It scares me, but I guess its better than being a cop. I know we both wouldn't be able to handle long distance for a lengthy amount of time either...if you say not to trust the recruiters, then I believe you. My bf always tells me about the benefits of being military, but it seems too good to be true to be coming from the government just for a few years of service.

He has a friend in the Navy that he talks to all the time, I think the guy's been in the Navy for a few years now. I'll have him talk to him in more detail about what it's like. I know he likes the idea of being a Navy Seal lol.
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#7
Yea but I'm telling you the Marines have it the worst out of all the branches. Also no offense to anyone here nor to your boyfriend. But there is a thing that goes around within the military... Marine men are known as sluts, and so are Navy women. Reason being, Navy women love Marine men for some reason and will throw themselves all over them. Also other women will too... for some reason they get women thrown at them all the time. So even the most faithful of guys coming in, have cheated on their GF's or wife. When you have women throwing themselves at you all the time, if you don't have enough self control, it can happen. The divorce rate for the Marines is the highest because of this fact alone. I had to say bye to a neighbor recently, because her hubby (a Marine) cheated on her so she is filing for divorce. So yea, I'd suggest not going with the Marines, AF or Navy is the best bet.
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#8
One thing I have to say. If he does join the military, join it for 4 years. Now what I mean by that. One tour is 4 years so that is what you are in for. This is a trial period. Use that 4 years to decide if you like it. If you do, stay in. If not, get out. The military is for a certain type of person, not everyone fits in or likes it. I believe in the old saying, if you don't like your work, get a different job. Personally, I liked the military and made a career out of it. But I have seen others who were definitely NOT military types. They got out and are much happier for it. So enlist for 4 years, Don't say we are in for a career or we are getting out after one tour. Decide when the time comes. One other thought. When that ime comes, look at the economy on the outside. Big recession? The military is an assured paycheck. You may not like the work, but you get a paycheck twice a month (unless congress delays passing a new budget which they will eventually then you get back pay). Something to think about.
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