75 Ways You Know You Are A Military Family

Yesterday, one of our fabulous writers, Rebekah Sanderlin, updated her facebook  page with the following status:  “You know you are a military family when your husband meets your new neighbor, for the first time – in Afghanistan!”  So we asked our amazing facebook community to fill in the blank.  “You know you are a military family when _____”, and the response was amazing!  We chose 100 of our FAVORITES and compiled them here.  Did your fill-in-the-blank make our list?  What would you add?

75 Ways You Know You are a Military Family

You have a garage full of boxes that haven’t been unpacked… from two PCS moves ago.

When you refer to your children’s rivalry as the “East Coast/West Coast” battle.

Morgan Slade 6
(Photo Credit: Morgan Slade)

You never use the “debit” option at the gas pump (only credit) because you can’t remember your zip code.

Your four year old daughter can’t write her own name yet but can point out Afghanistan on a map.

You’ve responded “roger” in a normal conversation that doesn’t involve a single service member.

You hate the sound of Velcro in the laundry.

Everett Lopez and Wife
(Photo Credit: Everett Lopez)

If the backs of your furniture all have multiple colored inventory numbers from multiple moves.

You tell your husband happy anniversary by saying, “this past year has been the best 3 months of my life!”


Your 15 month old child calls any man in uniform “dadda.”

Homecomings are better than any holiday.

You only know your service member’s friends by their last name.

Daryl Matthews pic of brothers serving
(Photo Credit: Daryl Matthews)

You associate major life events with whatever duty station you were living at the time.

You begin to get that three year itch and feel a PCS move coming soon.

You have to ask a neighbor if you can list them as the emergency contact on your kids’ school forms right after introducing yourself for the first time.

If your three year old thinks Daddy lives in the smart phone.

Each and every family member was born in a different state (or sometimes, country).

Clarice Williams family photo
(Photo Credit: Clarice Williams)

You ask your family not to get you “things” for Christmas because you don’t want to have to move them in a year.

You always use a pencil in your address book.

When get pulled over and you have to explain it’s legal for you to have an out of state license while living in the state for more than 30 days!!


You have several sets of checks with various addresses on them…you never live anywhere long enough to use them up before having to get new ones with new addresses.

You know your service members social, but can’t remember any other family members… including your own.

You, your husband and all your kids have driver’s licenses from different states and 4 different license plates on your cars!

 Jamie Wallace Malik
(Photo Credit: Jamie Malik)

You plan when to try for the next baby around possible deployments and/or a PCS (both of which will likely be changed anyway!)

Family game night involves one member on Skype watching from afar.

If you have a two year old baby girl who can look up at the sky and instead of shouting “helicopter!” When one flies by she shouts “Apache!” or “Blackhawk!” or “Chinook!” or even “Kiowa!”

Katelyn Holland wth her husband
(Photo Credit: Katelyn Holland)

You say ‘we just moved from (insert last home) but I grew up in (hometown/state)’ when asked where you’re from.

Four months doesn’t seem like a long time to be apart.


Your kids ask for military discounts at every store or restaurant!

You have been in the delivery room holding the computer for your best friend’s deployed spouse to watch the birth of their kid over Skype.

Your military friends are like family!

Brandi Balke wedding picture with family
(Photo Credit: Brandi Balke)

No matter what military family you meet, you almost always have a mutual friend in common!

When you have curtains of every size that you always keep because they will fit at some point, in some house.

Your kids discuss which USO airport lounge is the best, and have a favorite restaurant in Heathrow, O’Hare and Dulles…and know how to navigate the hallways to get there. All before they turn 10.

Morgan Slade family with flag in field(Photo Credit: Morgan Slade)

You never bother saying A.M or P.M., and either start telling time with the word “zero” or end time with saying the word “hours”.

A wall (or room) in your house is reserved as his “I love me” space for accommodations, plaques, medals, awards, etc…

Every closet in the bedrooms has branch-specific clothing in it!


Your laundry loads are sorted into lights, darks, and cammies.

You know what time it is without looking at a watch based off of when each bugle call is!!

Your daughter has been in four schools and isn’t even out of elementary school.

Tisha Jackson
(Photo Credit: Tisha Jackson)

It’s not until your in-laws come to visit that you even realize how often planes and helicopters fly over your house.

Your nice furniture is all dinged up from all the moves you’ve made!

You always buy the trip insurance because leave can be cancelled while you are packing the car.

Lilly Langworthy
(Photo Credit: Lilly Langworthy)

You’ve bought more airline tickets than movie tickets in the last year.

You have had a child at every duty station your family has been stationed at. He better make it so that we don’t transfer anymore… I’m done having babies!


Your family all have various area codes on your cell phone based on where you were stationed when they got their cell phone.

Your three year old walks up and thanks a soldier in a grocery store, then proceeds to say his daddy is “inagascan” (Afghanistan).

 Morgan Slade toy soldiers
(Photo Credit: Morgan Slade)

If you find a casserole dish (or tupperware or cup) of another military family in your kitchen, but you haven’t been neighbors in over four years!

Your husband has lived overseas longer than he has lived at each assigned duty station. (A total of 30 months so far… and counting!)

Nickey Heitmann family picture
(Photo Credit: Nickey Heitmann)

Your child yells stop the car at five pm because he/she has to hear retreat.

You belong to more support groups than a recovering alcoholic.

Your kids have dolls that look like daddy.


You can sleep thru bugle calls and artillery training but the whole trip to visit family you cannot fall asleep because it’s just too quiet.

You spend more holidays apart than together.

You buy furniture according to its weight (for PCSing), its ability if fit in the next place you live (all housing is NOT equal), or by the chances it could break during a PCS or how hard it could be to replace after a PCS.

Angela Lehmann family picture
(Photo Credit: Angela Lehmann)

You’re filling out paperwork that needs to know all of your address for the past 10 years an you need a second or third sheet.

You know 31 ways to save the day with a boot band!

Julie Sanders Caton ball picture
(Photo Credit: Julie Caton)

You have to stop and think about what time zone your friends are in now, since YOU have moved four times since you meet, six years ago.

Your children think MRE’s are a viable dinner option.

You have his picture in every room in the house so you and the kids can talk to dad even in the bathroom.


You run out of q-tips (the BIG box), so you think, “Must be time to PCS”!

Your kids end up in class with friends from two posts ago.

You have a husband a brother and father all deployed at one time.

Katie Hodges Heim
(Photo Credit: Katie Heim)

You speak in acronyms, and even the kids understand!

You have used a tough box as an entertainment center, end table, work bench or speaker stand.

You can’t tell the difference between artillery and thunder.

Cara Webb
(Photo Credit: Cara Webb)

Your six year old has a passport with a picture of him when he was six months old during his first overseas PCS.

It’s normal to have two different sized dining room tables or two different sized couches in your garage.

You and your brother are on the same ship and don’t know it until your mother writes to tell you! (True story of my Dad’s friend)

Your almost four year old knows how to work Skype to call Daddy.

Packing your home up seems like just another day.

Jazzmine Cetinbag
(Photo Credit: Jazzmine Cetinbag)

You have friends in every state with a base.

Every large green tan or brown looking truck on the highway or every plane in the sky is dad’s army truck or dad’s army plane to your toddler.

You never bother putting up wedding photos or family pictures on the walls because they’ll just have to be taken down again anyway!

Morgan Slade 1
(Photo Credit: Morgan Slade)

You start pulling out your ID or dimming your headlights when pulling up to a toll booth ( oops, we are not going on post!)

Your formal dining room has a Japanese dining table, tatami chairs, a wedding kimono, steptansu, an Indian rug, and full suits of armor from a samurai and a German knight. Or, if you know what half those items are.

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