19) A common misconception is about our housing… it is not “free.” As part of their compensation, service members get a “housing allowance” which they can choose to use by living on a military installation or out in town.
18) We are just as confused about “how we do it” as you are. We don’t know how… we just do. Because we love our service members. If your spouse were a member of the military… you would just do it, too. We have no doubt.
17) We do not feel sorry for ourselves and do not want or need sympathy. Rather, we’d appreciate your encouraging Congress to adequately fund our forces so they can do their jobs.
16) We are AMAZING in emergencies, whether they be actual emergencies or emergencies of the “I need to plan a last minute birthday party” variety. Service members and their spouses are very experienced in taking control of a situation.
15) When we step into a local volunteer position, a new group of non-military friends, or a new job we don’t have the luxury of spending a lot of time building trust and credibility. We hope you will give us a chance to make a difference wherever the military happens to send us.
14) Just like any other TV show, Army Wives can be entertaining and may give a glimpse into military life… but, for most of us, it is really not an accurate depiction of our everyday lives. That would be way too boring for any network!
13) Just because we move away does not mean that you are any farther from our hearts. If we don’t talk often it is because we are trying to get a new life set up in a new place. We promise to be in touch soon… and would love to hear from you as well!
12) We aren’t all poor and handing over money is not always the best way to help us. Most of the time we would much rather have your friendship, or your help finding a reliable babysitter. You can’t put a price on either one of those things!
11) Instead of saying, “Call me if you want to talk,” during a deployment… just call. Instead of asking, “Do you need anything?”… just do something. Cut the grass. Offer to watch the children. Bring a hot meal. Acts of kindness that don’t have to be specifically asked for mean the world.
10) Our children are always the “new kids.” Every two to four years, our children are faced with saying goodbye to friends and schools they love. In a lifetime of a school-aged military child, they might attend seven to 10 different schools before they graduate from high school. Most learn to eventually adjust, but it’s within the initial six months of moving to a new community when they are the most vulnerable. If you know that a military family moved into your neighborhood, partner up on the bus ride to school, offer a play date or spend a little extra time with them. We are constantly looking for that first friend for our child that will help them better adjust to the new surroundings. Nothing improves the outlook of a military family more, than when the children have found a few friends to call their own.
9) Being a part of the military community does not mean we all hold the same political views. In fact, we often times have so much diversity in our communities that we hear many different points of view in our circle of friends.
8) Although it makes some service members uncomfortable (because they feel like they are simply doing their job), a simple “thank you for your service” is an acceptable way to express your gratitude to a member of the military.
7) Most military spouses want to work! Just like our children, we have to start over in our career every few years. According to a Department of Defense report, the military spouse is paid on average $3 per hour less than her/his civilian counterpart. Spouses also tend to be underemployed, which means they agree to be hired into a position for which they are over qualified. Military spouses usually have a vast amount of experience they bring with them. Even if it’s only for a few years, employing a military spouse can bring experience that you can’t find anywhere else. Take a chance and hire a military spouse! Chances are you won’t regret it.
6) Many of us are fiercely patriotic. It does not mean that we think you are any less patriotic than we are.
5) Even though it can sometimes feel like it, we know that our lives are not that far removed from yours. In many ways we are exactly alike. We don’t want our differences to define us.
4) Sometimes the period after the return HOME can be the hardest part of a deployment. Love us and support us when they are gone, support us when they return too!
3) Speaking of homecoming… if a family is having a hard time adjusting after a service member returns, it does not automatically mean he/she returned with PTSD.
2) When our service member separates from the military or retires… we can sometimes feel completely lost.
1) We appreciate you too. You have offered support, thanks and encouragement… and for that we truly are grateful.