Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Military Families get what???

Folks, I feel need to set the record straight.
Perhaps, you'll read this, and, at the end, you'll say "That's it?" or, "So?"
I know I'll feel better, and, isn't that what my blog is all about....making me feel better?  ;)

We are a military family. I grew up in a military family. I tell you this, just so you know I have some knowledge of this "lifestyle".

Over the years, I have heard so many ridiculous things that civilian peeps think we, as military families, get. 

These are my top 3 favourites:

#1. Members of our military makes loads of money.
Not true, especially when they first start out. Things were real tight when we were first, when hubby was away, I ate a lot of cup-a-soup & popcorn to save on the groceries. We did ok, and we're doing a lot better now, but, rich we'll never be.
What members do get, are great medical benefits, as do their families if they have one. 

#2. Military Families Get Free Housing
Ummmm, nope. Not even close. Members and their families that live in PMQ's (Private Married Quarters), pay the same as anyone on civvy street. What you don't know, is that members don't pay rent...they pay something called "shelter charges", so they aren't covered my the "Landlord/tenant Act", no matter what province they're in, or how bad the house may be. ( I should tell you here, our family now owns a house & we no longer live in PMQ's)
There are some newer houses now, but, not many. Most of the homes are old, and need serious upgrades. We've lived in houses that were in such poor condition, no one but a military family would be allowed to live in them. We've even been in homes that were condemned. 

#3. Military Families Get Free Childcare 
Again....nope. Hahhaha....oh, that one makes me laugh, especially with our 4 kids. 
In recent years, the MFRC's ( Military Family Resource Center) have offered 1-3 hours a week of Deployment care if your spouse is deployed. This is on their time, at their discretion, not whenever or wherever you feel like it. It's helpful, but not what I would call free childcare.
I worked ( briefly) for a store in our town last year. With my hubby being in the field, busy with work, and tasked for more craziness in the summer, our oldest was spending a lot of time caring for his siblings. I decided a minimum wage job was not worth all this hassle, so, told them I would have to quit.
The district manager was angry. I could hear her while she was talking to my manager on the phone. She was under the mistaken impression that I could just get free care for my kids so I could come to work. No my dear, no. Like anyone else, it's my job to care for my kids, not the military's.

Being a military family is a different life to be sure. I don't think it's any harder than anyone else's, we just have our unique struggles, like everyone else. 

"If the military had wanted you to have a family, they would have issued you one!"

***All info here is garnered from my own experiences.***