Friday, August 3, 2012
A Word On Military Misconceptions, Courtesy Of Adrienne May
The military-civilian disconnect has led to a knowledge gap that is growing at an increasingly large rate, and since shows like Army Wives “showcase” military life, there has been many stereotypes pop up in recent years.
For instance, not too long ago I was talking with a friend about filing taxes and she almost instantly uttered out, “Your husband doesn’t pay taxes, though, and do you make enough to even file?” I thought to myself, where in the world would she get a crazy idea like that, and I don’t make enough to file?
So, to put stereotypes like these to rest, here is a list of the most common military spouse stereotypes. It’s time to put these stereotypes to rest!
Military Spouses Don’t Have Jobs
This is possibly my favorite misconception. First, according to the DoD, 84 percent of military spouses have some college and over a quarter have a 4-year degree from a state college or university. In addition to that, over 75 percent of mil spouses have a job and want to advance their professional career.
If statistics aren’t enough, then consider personal stories from mil spouses, such as myself and others. As soon as my husband received PCS orders, I was searching for a new job and was employed within four months of our new station. Abby, a member of Military Spouse Central, said she was able to transfer her employment to a location close to her new station and was working within two weeks of the move. Post any stories you have below and be sure to see Rachel’s salute to military wives!
Military Spouses are Lazy and Marry for Money
This stereotype is another one that gets my feathers rustled. If you want to live a life of luxury with no worries or cares in the world, I wouldn’t advise marrying a service member. Even with the benefits, many service members do not make what their civilian counterparts make.
Anytime someone claims that mil spouses are lazy and only marry a soldier to get away from paying bills, I go up in arms. In my experience, I have had to juggle work, children, home repairs, volunteering, and finances.
Military Spouses Cheat
There are infidelities in military marriages; however, there are infidelities in civilian marriages as well. It is true that with a deployment, the isolation and frustration can amplify those feelings, but that doesn’t mean that military couples are unfaithful to each other.
Many military couples have committed, long lasting relationships that have never had a problem with infidelity.
Military Spouses Hide Behind Rank
First off, this is a definite misconception displayed by the Lifetime series Army Wives. The idea that wives walk around identifying themselves by their husband’s rank is horrifying. In the series, the wives of higher-ranking soldiers are expected to dress nice and be active in family reediness groups.
Wives of enlisted soldiers are not trashy or without class, and officer wives are not country-club attending Stepford wives.
See more on this stereotype from Cassy on the You Served blog.
When it comes to military spouses, those who aren’t familiar with the life should know that military spouses are simply normal people who fell in love with someone who happens to serve in the military. Our lives are different from civilian spouses, but we work through the fact that our spouses could be thousands of miles away and continue life as normal, raising children, taking care of finances, working at our jobs and volunteering our time to help others.
Adrienne May is a military spouse and mother of three. Adrienne is also the featured author for Military Spouse Central and Military Family Central, two blogs proudly sponsored by Veterans United Home Loans. Connect with Adrienne personally on Google+ or Twitter!