Entitled Dependent — You Only “Served” Dinner


Racial slurs. Personal attacks. Liberal use of the F-Bomb. It’s one of my sexiest jobs to cut that crap off SpouseBuzz– and stop cutting just before readers call me a Censor. Or a Nazi. Or a Nazi-Censor-clad-in-nothing-but-my-Thought-Police-jackboots.

Which is, in fact, a good look for me.

So I was paying attention when a chief’s wife dared to mention in the comments section of a post that she, too, served. Replies rained down upon her like she had taken up work in the sanitary department of a chicken factory. One guy accused, “Entitled dependent, you only served dinner.”

I hate that stuff. It blemishes our online community. Then again, I love that stuff. That’s the stuff the most profound schooling in our community is made of. In my sociology classes, they taught us to pay attention to the unwritten rules that a society enforced most fiercely.

The rule we enforce:  Thou Shalt Not Be Dependent.

You can pose nude for a calendar. You can live apart from your service member. You can raise 56 cats in a one bedroom apartment. Who cares about that? But do not, under any circumstance, be dependent in any way upon your service member.

Do not admit you are a stay-home parent. Do not admit that the moves make your career difficult. You must especially never, never imply that you have supported your service member’s career in any way.

Even if your soldier has deployed six times in the past ten years for at least nine months at a time.

Even if you are one of those trained Army FRG leaders or command spouses who steps up to help someone through the injury or death of their soldier or Marine.

Even if you delivered twins on your own during a month-long Alaskan blizzard at Elmendorf AFB while your airman was TDY in Tampa, do not mention it.

According to the unwritten rules of the military, you must never admit that you and your servicemember and the military are entwined in any way.

What is wrong with being dependent?

Of all the things that matter in military life, why would people be so intensely against being dependent on each other?

Some of our readers have said that it isn’t the dependency so much as the degree of dependency. Others have said that service members who have had the worst marriages are the ones enforcing the anti-dependent rule. Which I guess I can understand.

But still, I have to wonder what work the anti-dependent rule is doing? Sometimes I think we look at these ultra-competent partners of military members and accuse them of dependency so that we don’t have to look at where the real dependency lies—with the service member.

I do not, in any way, mean that as a slur. I’m saying that the nature of life in the military makes some serious physical demands on service members. Look how hard it is to figure out what you are going to do with your truck during a year long deployment. Look how hard it is to find someone to keep your dog for a month while you are out on sea trials or in the field. How easy is it to find someone who will keep your kid—even for one night –when you have the duty?

No one has to get married in the military. But if a service member wants children, pets, love– they need to depend on a partner.  The partner needs to depend on them.  The dependence can be economic, physical, intellectual, social, emotional or all of the above.  It’s a marriage.

What’s wrong with that?  I interview a lot of long married military couples. One thing I consistently see is how these successful couples split the duties of a life built inside the military and split the credit.

I heard these spouses say things like “our” benefits. “Our” deployment. When “we”  got orders. I also hear them talk about how they can’t imagine their service member doing any other kind of work.

I hear their service members say stuff like, “I could not have done it without her.” Or, “The kids turned out so great because of her—she did all the work.”

I’m starting to wonder whether the key to a good military marriage is a healthy degree of dependency on each other.  There also might be an element of sharing the credit for a life well lived with your partner. What does a little dependency take away from the accomplishment of a service member’s career?  Nothing.  And it may even mean that they have a life to come home to when the military career is done.

So maybe the things I ought to add to the list of things to edit is this criticism of a life that is interdependent. If that is what works, it is a disservice to criticize, attack and condemn dependency.  Maybe we ought to just look at it a little harder to figure out how it works.

About the Author

Jacey Eckhart
Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Military.com. Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at JaceyEckhart.net.
  • sabrinacking

    Where to begin…let’s begin with, you’re spot on. Let’s continue with…I can’t ever wrap my head around anyone’s logic who thinks a military family’s lifestyle does not indeed involve the entire family. And in fact, it does require sacrifices from the entire family, and in the best of those families the entire family also serves..not just as volunteers etc, but as a Hadrian of light to other families. As a “look people are successful at this”. I could say a lot more…but if being a dependapotamus means sitting on casualty assistance, running an FRG, running cub scouts when all the men were deployed, standing strong during 5 long hard year long combat tours of my husband, giving birth TWICE alone, raising a baby who spent nearing two months in NICU while my husband was in Korea, finishing my Bachelors then Masters in different states, then you know what? I am the biggest, fattest dependapotamus out there.

    • sabrinacking

      Now, you’ll excuse me while this dependapotamus takes her son to the Navy recruiter to get his leave date for basic….because I was also raising the next generation of the military while these self righteous morons thought I was sitting on my ass eating bon bons.

      • Angella

        Exactly! Good job!

      • Julia

        Yeah! You go dependapotomus! :-)

      • Sharon Ingram

        I, too, am a dependapotomus!!! And proud of it. I have NEVER not been a dependent. My father served 28 years in the Army as a Chaplain. We moved 20 times before they’d been married 19 years! My husband and I have been married 33 years and moved 17 times. We were married 7 years before we got to celebrate an anniversary together! His remotes (they didn’t call them deployments back then) TDYs, and deployments were more than I can count. When he retired as a Command Chief, I was honored that the Airmen called me Mrs. Chief. And by then we had sent our oldest to BMT. Now, all three of our children, 2 sons and a daughter serve in the Air Force. Our daughter is married to another airman, and our middle child is awaiting his GF’s return from deployment to “pop the question.” ( I hope they don’t read this!!!) Yes, we are called dependents. But everyone is a dependent, even civilians with no connection to the military. Just see how far they can go without their job, their car, their family or friends. Their income….etc. They are just as dependent on THEIR income, family, friends, insurance, clubs, grocerey stores, et al., as we are. They just don’t recognize it as such. I wouldn’t trade one minute of my dependent “lifestyle” for anything. Shoveling snow from the driveway to get to work at 8 months pregnant because my “sugar daddy” was TDY for 3 months. Changing a tire at 8 months (different child) in Naples It when he was TDY. Packing a house, driving 1800 miles to the port of departure with 3 children under 10, and a cat, with luggage filling the van, because we didn’t have concurrent travel. Driving 40 miles each way to work at the base, because “dependent housing” was that far out. Nope, wouldn’t trade it. I am so proud of my family’s legacy. And proud of what we’re building.

        • sabrinacking

          My keyboarding skills on the IPad suck. I meat to Like, but accidentally unliked your pst: my bad!

    • mel

      Sing it!!!!!

  • Mary Douglas

    Here here! Love this one!

  • the first mel

    The issue isn’t the dependency upon each other, it’s the belief that one is serving the military because of the marriage to a servicemember. I am married to a Marine and I would never claim to serve too. What I do is for my marriage and my family, not for the Marine Corps. I’ll even go as far to say that I do not do this for my country. Yes, I’m selfish. I want to spend my life with my husband and if that means I have to deal with moving, separations, and assorted other issues to be with him, then what is what I will deal with. I can completely understand why the statement, “I serve too” raises people’s hackles. What I do does not compare to what my husband endures as a Marine.

    • jacey_eckhart

      Lots of people would agree with you. But that bit about objecting to spouses who claim that they “serve” is part of what I don’t understand.

      Those spouses aren’t saying that they serve in uniform or that what they do is equal to serving downrange. What on earth is equal to that? I think what these spouses mean that they serve by providing assistance or help or aid to others. They do their part– which is maintaining the servicemember’s home life so that the servicemember can focus on fighting a war.

      Whether they are motivated to perform this service for their servicemember or their kids or their country or some combination of factors doesn’t matter that much. Using the word “serve” takes nothing away from those who fought and died for us.

      Serve is a verb that serves many functions. Let it.

      • the first mel

        Jacey, doing their part by maintaining the home life is what any spouse would do when in a marriage. Maybe that’s the difference for me. I would be doing the same things for my family regardless of my husband’s occupation. I just don’t see how my actions as a spouse entitles me to more because I am married to a servicemember. The military does a lot for the families of their servicemembers, so much more than even 12 years ago. I have been a spouse longer than that and, believe me, I appreciate all those extras. Comparing what we had during the gulf war to what we have now is like comparing night and day. This attitude that we are owed everything because “we serve” is where the problem is. Where is the appreciation for what we do have in our military communities? Where is the appreciation for the kindness that people extend because of what our servicemembers are doing? When people combine the belief that they serve with the expectation that they should be catered to is when you see the bashing.

        • the first mel

          I agree the word “serve” is a verb, but we all know that when a word is combined with other words we can see the intention behind the use of that specific word. If you didn’t remove the specific comments from the porn article that pertained to the use of the word “serve”, I would be able to show a specific quote, in full, that would convey the questionable intention of the word “serve” in Chief Wif’s comment.

          • sabrinacking

            How is asking for porn to be moved to another isle and not directly above children’s literature…being “catered to”? I don’t even agree with her that porn makes one iota of difference in military sexual assault…but you are acting like she said she wants a free subscription to Martha Stewart Living for being a wife…if there is still porn at the PX. The entire family…serves. My kids served when they had to move school districts nearly once every 18 months like clockwork. They served while their Dad was absent for nearly the past entire decade. I served volunteering ad nauseum, I served uprooting my entire existence numerous times so he could stay in the Army. The entire family serves in some capacity. Some of us, more than others. Saying that, has absolutely no resemblance to being a rank whore or being entitled. Its called: the truth.

          • the first mel

            Here’s your pat on the back, your applause and your thank you. You’ll have to wait for your medal until they finish making it.

          • sabrinacking

            No one asked for any accolades, what I said was, spouses serve too. Service is not something only service members do. If that were the case, there’d be no FRGs, few family programs since most are worked by volunteers, no relief fund since volunteers raise the money etc. If you have ever benefitted from any of the above you have been a recipient of a spouse serving.

          • Ashley

            In all honesty, it really seems as though women like you hold this opinion because you don’t want to be seen as a “dependapotamus”. (I personally don’t care what they call me, but that’s because the only opinion that matters to me is my husband’s.)

            You know, that ugly term coined by the Overly Sensitive Military Wife community of assholes who sit around all day and do nothing but think of derogatory names, labels, and stereotypes to slap on wives of service members who don’t fall within their perceived standards and guidelines of how a spouse should look, act, speak, or generally go about their business.

            By all means, you’re entitled to your opinions, but you’re doing myself and others a great disservice by dismissing the service we actually do.

        • sabrinacking

          I, too, am an old wife. I don’t think I have mentioned my husband’s rank, but you should be able to deduce if I tell you he is enlisted and near 20, nearly all of which we have been married. For me, I look at what you just wrote and see one of 3: a) you have had a very charmed military existence b) you have some sort of martyr mentality or c) you aren’t at all involved in your military community. We could spin this very differently. Service members don’t volunteer: a volunteer is one who is unpaid for services rendered. Service members are paid, so they don’t volunteer for anything. The spouses I know spend a career alongside their service member, unpaid, working countless hours on post in programs, raising the next generation of the military, and keeping those home fires burning. What is wrong with being proud of that effort? What about that effort is less noble? I have yet to meet any of these wives who supposedly wear their husband’s rank and are deserving of such scorn. The women I KNOW, have been working their behinds off during two wars to keep this military humming, unpaid and with little to no recognition. Your sentiment is one thing: DISRESPECTFUL.

          • sabrinacking

            I’d really challenge anyone hear to walk up to my service member and tell him “your wife is a dependapotamus and never did a thing for the Army”. But be sure you call ahead to the ER for a bed when you do.

          • guest

            I have an issue with your number three: aren’t involved with your military community. That seems to be the flip side to the dependopotomus argument. In my (admittedly short) time as a milspouse, I have been given the side eye, the “suggestions” and the lectures about how MUCH i need to be involved in the community.

            But why? I wouldn’t be involved if my husband was a salesmen, a defense contractor or a doctor or a lawyer etc. etc. But if I’m lucky enough to be able to maintain a separate career that is flourishing even while he is in the military, why should I get the guilt because I can’t attend/volunteer? He isn’t coming to any/all of my events due to military events taking up the majority of his time – I want it to work both ways and for him to accompany me to MY events.

            I dont think the majority of spouses out there are “Just” dependents – jeez anyone who has stayed home with kids while trying to do ANYTHING else will tell you its not easy! I just remember that one of the beautiful things about the culture we live in now is that we are free to spend all our lives staying home, raising kids, being involved in the military and volunteering, OR we can do none of those and still be good wives and good people.

          • sabrinacking

            I would never say anyone has to be involved in their community. My point was, IF you were involved in the community I think your opinion of whether you serve or sacrifice might be different. The first time you sit casualty assistance as a for instance.

          • Ajchicago

            AMEN sabrinacking…I too agree that the entire family serves our country for putting up with a lot of the bs we do, that our service member knows nothing about because we wouldn’t want them to be distracted from doing their job (especially in combat).
            We are retiring this October and are excited about OUR next journey; however, I KNOW my children and I have served along side him for every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month or every year of his service. I do that yes because I love him, but I assure you my friends in the civilian world frequently ask how I do it. Moving 15 times, kids in 9 different schools…how do we do it?
            We do it because we not only love our service member, but also because we love our country and believe in the military missions, wherever it may take not only our service member, but also our family.

          • the first mel

            a. I have been married to my active duty Marine husband for 24 years. A year before we were married, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, which is an autoimmune disease that affects muscle strength. It is a chronic illness with no cure at this time. I have dealt with unaccompanied orders because of my heath status, deployments to war zones and multiple separations due to training and missions. I have also dealt with a long list of crappy situations including the death of our baby in the 5th month of pregnancy, while my husband was in Okinawa on unaccompanied orders. I guess my military existence hasn’t been so charmed.

          • the first mel

            b. I don’t see how my belief reflects being a martyr. The sacrifices I make aren’t for the sake of principle, they are for my marriage and my family. I’m also not a great or constant sufferer since I don’t complain and I don’t constantly tell everyone about sacrifices I have made.

            c. I am very involved in my military community. I volunteer at the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society. I have logged in over 3000 volunteer hours with them. I am a volunteer caseworker and I crochet baby blankets that are given out with the free layettes that servicemembers and their spouses receive after they take the Budget for Baby class. I am active in my husband’s unit family readiness program by attending all meetings and functions and by volunteering my help at various events with the unit. Also, throughout my husband’s career I have engaged him in conversations to learn about what he does and what he has to deal with. Since he has seen my interest in his military life, I have become his sounding board and occasionally he asks my opinion.

          • the first mel

            You have made many assumptions about me and I wonder why it bothers you so much that I don’t accept the idea that I serve too. We are people with different beliefs and I have not personally attacked anyone’s character on this forum and I wonder why you felt the need to do it to me.

          • sabrinacking

            I am not attacking your personal character, I am disagreeing with your opinion as you do mine. Your sentiment is very martyistic in tone. It comes across as you expect to be sainted any day. That you deserve no acknowledgment, no kudos, and neither should anyone else need, want or desire even basic human decency and respect. Maybe that is cultural for you, but I would personally from all you have just shared say you have been absolutely SERVING as a spouse for your entire marriage. Spouses do deserve respect, they do deserve human decency and they do deserve acknowledgement. There is nothing entitled about saying that. Perhaps your service branch is different, Here in the Army, there is a general tone of dismissive disrespect of spouses. In fact, it can be quite ferocious from female service members. That tone bothers me because it leads to many divorces, many unhappy marriages and in my first hand experience it hinders wives from being able to get their service member the help they need when they return from combat with any issues. I don’t know you to have a problem with you personally, I have a problem with your opinion, its not personal.

          • sabrinacking

            This stemmed from you stating that Cheif’s Wif in the porn thread was stating something entitled. All the woman asked for was for porn to be moved to another isle away from children’s literature. I still can’t see how that is asking to be catered to, or is entitled in any way. Maybe it’s her chosen screen name you have rumpled feathers over. Is that what made her seem entitled? Then when I disagree with you, you get all chide and tell me to wait for my medal..I mean really. Who is personally attacking who here? Its all very Holier than Thou, which is why I said “some sort of martyr complex”,

          • sabrinacking

            I use my own name, because you know what, I am not afraid of anyone knowing exactly what I think about anything, and I don’t need my husband’s accomplishments to entitle me to anything. I have a plethora of my own. I share my experience because I believe it is NOT an anomaly. I am not some amazing unique case and neither are you, spouses are serving in mazing ways all day every day in every branch. And I absolutely disagree with you that the general public has any idea of that service or sacrifice. You and I tend to disagree on most things on this forum, I am glad we BOTH SERVED supporting our husband’s and our military communities to make that freedom of speech possible.

  • Elizabeth

    Amen. I tried to keep my career alive but between the economy and the frequent employment gaps I have become one of these dependent stay-at-home spouses. The jobs out there for moms like me don’t pay for child care. The military cut backs hit us especially hard because the best pool of jobs for us on bases are drying up like a puddle in the desert. Thank you for explaining our unique situation so well.

    • JMM

      Elizabeth, have you ever looked into NACCRRA? As long as you work a minimum of 16 hours/week, or are attending school for 12 credit hours or more (or both), this organization will cover your childcare expenses with pre-selected childcare facilities on or off base. They’re covering 70% of our childcare for our daughter because my husband and I both work full-time.
      Here’s the website, and I hope this helps! http://www.naccrra.org/military-families

  • Angella

    I totally agree with this article!

  • Lynne B

    In April, we celebrate the Month of the Military Child, with the mantra that “Kids Serve Too”. Why is it okay to honor kids that way, but taboo to say that about an adult?

    • Kevin

      As a Navy Junior (same concept as Army Brat), I do not feel that I served when I was a kid. Since we moved every couple of years I did lose friends and had to make more and I have no hometown with all that implies, but there were lots of advantages to being a dependent back then–for kids. (All that military stuff to be around! Travels to different places!)

      Having said that, though. I am in awe of what military wives (now spouses) did and do. I don’t use the word “served” for military spouses, but “sacrificed” and “supported” and “helped” Oh, yes.

  • Jacey,
    Excellent article.

    I guess I missed the point in the original comment where service automatically meant ‘equal in every way/shape/form to military service’.

    You’re right, there’s many kinds of service, and my spouse and I trip over each other trying to say which one has done more service to each other/the family/the military institution/the community in different situations.

  • Beth

    Honestly, isn’t this a problem with our society in general? How many women are shamed into working because they don’t want to be ONLY a stay at home mom(and wind up in a job that barley covers child care, so they are only working so that they can pay someone else to raise their kid?!)? Are you kidding me!?!?! We are raising the next generation! Its not something that we should ALLOW ourselves to be looked down on for! Between keeping house, making meals, school events (or homeschooling), community events, and running the children around to their 12 million activities (they have to be well rounded after all!), its amazing that we even have time to shower! Add to that the fact that while your spouse is gone you are also the ONLY one able to do any errands, make important family decisions with little input from your spouse, move your family when necessary, ect, so on and so forth……. I truly and honestly hope that not a single women, military or not feels lesser because they stay home. You are in a marriage, you are one 1/2 of a whole. Without you doing your job, he wouldn’t be able to do his! In our society we have morphed marriage into this idea that it is two separate people co existing…. its no wonder divorce is over 50%! Rely on your man the same way he relies on you. You are NO Lesser, you are a woman with the hardest job of all! You hold it all together, without a single hour or day off, EVER! You are the Ying to his Yang, it truly takes both roles to have a family that works!

    • Shezim

      Don’t worry not all of us feel demeaned by being “just” a housewife/stay at home mom. I’ve been on maternity leave (wink) for 17 years now and I have never regretted it.
      My husband tells me all the time that he wouldn’t have a career without me to help.

      I know that there are some real “dependent” wives out there. I hear them as they cause trouble for their families and their husbands with unreasonable demands on their service members’ time and energy. I think everybody know which wives I’m talking about.

      But for the others…the ones who keep everything as positive as possible when Calls come home from downrange…the ones who form berets or search for missing uniform parts…the ones who run errands or bring lunch (dinner) when their service members are stuck at the office…the ones who keep the household running…the ones who handle backed up sewage and broken appliances….5000 baseball practices and Scout campouts with no spouse in sight and no resentment..those people help their spouses “serve.”

      Maybe some service members disagree with me…but the only service member who really matters to me, thinks I am dead on. ;)

      • Sarah

        I think this is the exact reason why so many people look down on the military wives – it’s a bubble. You think you’re the ONLY person who serves a spouse. The majority of women I know from grade school on, whether they stay at home, or work, do the same thing. You’re not special because your husband is in the military. I see so much bizarre logo wearing on a base – my husband is deployed, feel bad for me. I’m sacrificing for YOUR freedom. That’s what I would call martyrdom, as someone mentioned above. The reason so many spouses don’t feel the need or desire to volunteer on a base, and here’s the big NEWSFLASH of the year – is because a.) the military is not a charity. It’s the largest government organization in the country. b.) most of the people I know who spend all their time volunteering on base is because they have nothing else to do, and they want to have the latest gossip on what’s going on, both with the rest of the wives, and in their husband’s squadron. That’s not an opinion, that’s been my experience over 10 years of being married to an AF officer. As someone mentioned above, some of us work full time in careers and interests OUTSIDE the home and OUTSIDE our husband’s world – that doesn’t mean we’re getting divorced anytime soon. On the contrary, most of the divorce I see in the military is from men who get sick of their wives who live vicariously through them as groupies. In my world, the wives in my husband’s squadron wear flight suit dresses to social functions. Which I find degrading and pathetic. Does my husband wear a pencil skirt and heels to my work events? No. Does he dress up in my “uniform” if he comes to a cocktail party in my industry? Not that I can recall. This 1950’s mentality of “holding down the fort” is so obnoxious. You are no different than the millions of other families around the country and around the world, holding it together, supporting one another. Maybe you wouldn’t feel the need to spout it so much if you had more going on in your life.

    • Lulu

      AMEN to that, you said it all!!!!

  • inSANEmom

    Even among men and women in the military, the level of “service” varies. An admin/finance specialist does not serve in the same way as a an infantryman. The cook does not serve in the same was as the pilot. Some jobs are difficult and life threatening, even in training. Other jobs are less stressful with little to no threat of danger. Does that make one more important to the overall running of the unit or the military as a whole? NO! We can’t win wars or protect this country without soldiers on the ground and in the air. But those soldiers won’t last long without the cooks or without pay. That how I look at my roll as a military wife of now 20+ years. I serve my country by supporting my husband’s career (being involved in his unit, moving 10 times in 20 years, sucking it up during multiple deployments, etc), by the volunteer work I do that supports the military community and be educating and raising children who may decide to follow their father’s footsteps and become soldiers themselves. I’m not looking for special recognition… I do what I do because it’s the right thing to do. If someone finds my use of the word “serve” offensive… So be it. I’m too busy to worry about what issues they have that gets them so worked up about MY life.

  • Olivia

    I’m a Navy Brat…x2. My dad served as well as my stepdad, both Chiefs. On the Fourth of July I shake the hands of the family of the service men and women and tell them “Thank you for your service.” Because they serve too–WE serve too. In the way that it’s our father, mother, aunt, uncle, brother and sister fighting for our freedom and they’re overseas. Yes, we don’t wear a uniform, we don’t have to be in Afghanistan where everybody hates us, but we’re fighting at home. I’m not saying that we fight just as much as our military personnel, because we clearly don’t.

  • Mikki

    My husband constantly tells me that without me in his life, he wouldn’t be where he is today! He also comments that he’s glad he’s not a single soldier… he “would never get any personal business accomplished!” I love being a SAH mom and wife. I’m not sure how on Earth I would have PCS’d our family on my own if I had had a “paying job” too! I’m sure I could have made it work… but I’m glad I didn’t have to!

    • guest

      It’s actually pretty easy to do, you take a weeks vacation time to get everything done and organized and moved, you just save up your time when you know you have a PCS coming up, done it 6 times now

      • guest

        3 of which were on my own

        • Guest

          You’ve only PCS’d 3 times by yourself??? I’ve PCS’d 5 times by myself…7 total! I have more experience than my husband does at PCS moves.

  • mama03wife1

    When myspouse was medically retired, I got a certifcate that honor my service as a spouse. He got a flag, coins, and one signed by Obama while mines was signed by Sec. of Army. Last year, the theme of MSA week at Ft. Gordon was wearing the “insvisble unifom” I have been to retreat where the Chaplin has said that spouse is Commander in Chief of Household 6 so no matter what your sponsor’s rank everyone is equal.
    If you have ever work with Blue Star or Gold Star familes, you know everyone serve.

  • rhonda

    Military Spouses DO serve. They serve and sacrifice their lives and those of their children for the sake of the country. Yes it is a choice, but so is JOINING the military. We are the ones taking care of everything and everybody while our spouse is away. We are the ones drying the tears from our children missing the dad they hardly knew. We are the ones crying ourselves to sleep missing the spouse we worry about. Our hearts jump at the news of a military death, quietly praying its not our own, then praying for the unfortunate family that has experienced the loss. We are the rocks holding it together. We are the fuel that drives our servicemen. They are able to keep it together because of the comfort they have in knowing that WE are keeping it together. So do we feel entitled? Yes. We are entitled to the gratitude for the sacrifices we have made. We are entitled yo the respect WE have earned. The idea that we do not deserve this is silly. I know first hand how important our service to our country is. 3 kids, full time working mom, volunteer for my local community may sound like nothing to some, but who among our fellow citizens would CHOOSE that in support of our country? Not many. We are gold stars in our own right and we deserve to be proud. As for those insisting mil spouses are riding the coattails…Think again. Many of us have our own accomplishments. I am an attorney, former political consultant, and former on air political commentator. Yet, I am most proud of THIS service to my country and to the Chief Boatswain’s Mate I so proudly married. So keep your heads up my fellow spouses. As for the general population- the saying “all gave some, but some gave all” certainly applies.

  • Korkalot

    Interdependency is a hallmark of truly and healthy strong relationships. It is the balance of independence and dependence. This whole “dependa” bashing craze is nothing than idle minds that could be put to much better use.

    • seniorchiefret

      Thank you for putting it so succinctly. Relationships throughout our lives are interdependent upon who we engage through them. My wife stayed home when a hurricane approached and the ship had to get underway. She was there whenever any problems came up and I was deployed (or even not deployed). I credit her for serving our marriage and country by allowing me to worry about my military duties. We both worked together to make a life for our family. We are approaching 39 years now. As far as I am concerned…she served too. You can face it any way you want.

  • former spouse

    Have to reply to this excellent essay of yours. You know, I know my husband married me 25 years ago precisely because he COULD depend on me – I am a bit overly responsible, uber-conscientious, and highly competent. There was so much he did not have to worry about because I am what I am. So: did I contribute? and sacrifice? and ‘serve’ more than dinner? Absolutely. Was it worth it? Hmmm- that is another story.

    • AmerianWoman

      I have debated the “worth it” aspect as well for the last 25 years, ever since I left the US military community and way of life as a military spouse.

      Married five years prior to choosing the US military as a career, and working together as a military family for 23 years (18 moves, 3 remote tours, 10 states, 4 foreign countries), my husband, our two children, and myself all felt that we each served, in our own ways, and we commended and appreciated one another for our other family members’ service and sacrifice. In addition to fulfilling my primary responsibilities as a wife and mother, I sometimes worked at my profession. More often, this was not an option, so I volunteered my time and talents to our military community with no expectation of any reward, other than my own self-respect and personal sense that I had contributed positively, wherever I was asked. The rewards outweighed the sacrifices, I felt then.

      • AmerianWoman

        At the end of the day, however, when my husband (by then a senior officer) began an affair with a subordinate, lived a bold double life for over a year which was well known to his military peers and superiors, but not to me, all while continuing to accept public recognition and official accolades for the performance of his duties for the USAFE IG team, I learned that my true human worth and value, and that of our children, were totally unimportant and irrelevant to military leadership. The truth, I learned, was that all the high ideals and exceptional standards which the military advertises so publicly (all of which I believed, and which had motivated me for years) were riddled throughout with hypocrisy and indifference and dysfunction at every level. (continued)

        • AmerianWoman

          Forgiving my former husband for his betrayal of our marriage vows came easily, compared to the struggle I’ve experienced to forgive the betrayal of trust by our country’s military institutions and their leaders. I learned many important and valuable life lessons from my own experiences as an American military spouse, the most important one being never to trust in official words, no matter how polished or in line with your own personal values they may sound. Look only to the actions of any powerful institution’s leadership, and test those actions constantly, before placing any personal trust in them – and even then, invest your personal trust cautiously and sparingly. (continued)

          • AmerianWoman

            The recent public revelations of the failure of our US military institutions to maintain good discipline and order in their ranks, as evidenced by the repeated, increasingly frequent, sexual crimes being committed by their own members against other members, didn’t surprise me at all. A fish rots from the head down, and I personally observed the putrid, rotten head of military leadership 25 years ago. The only thing that surprised me is that it has taken so long for the truth about the institutionalized and generational dysfunction, corruption, and rot among our US military leadership to finally be revealed to the American public. (continued)

          • AmerianWoman

            Would I invest my own 23 years of time, effort, and trust again, as a military spouse, in full support of the US military’s publicly stated goals and values? Probably not, knowing what I now know about the vast chasm which separates our US military leadership’s words – and their actions – and the huge efforts which they expend to hide that vast chasm from everyone except themselves.

            Do I believe there’s hope that our US military can eventually heal itself from within, and once again become truly deserving of America’s public trust? That remains to be seen. It all depends on the US military’s own leaders and how sincerely they choose to act, according to their often publicly-stated definitions of personal honor and human worth.

          • sod

            and when the husband leaves- lets talk about the benefits you don’t get to keep.

        • AmerianWoman

          I apologize for the lack of continuity in my response. Apparently a significant portion of my total response has been withheld, either because of technical problems on the site or some other unexplained human intervention.

        • former spouse

          Well, I think you just told another version of “the other story” I mentioned. Unfortunately, I have heard this same story repeatedly over the years. It sounds like you had a great attitude and with all those moves, certainly did more than I ever did. There is only so much non-recognition/self-sacrifice/feeling of being used that a person can take. To be insulted, on top of that, by strangers and spouse and leadership… That is the unspoken reality of military ‘dependency.’

  • Love it!! Thank you!

    • sod

      Interesting article..well said. what is not said is the fact that a military wife can give up so much and when the husband decides to trade her in..she is not entiled to much. How sad. There used to be an Ex-spouse group that could lobby congress..they unfortunately traded in that right to become a tax-free group. Ex-wifes used to get lifetime medical and px, commissary after fifteen years…now it is 20.
      Military wifes—Pay attention. You must be married 20 years of a military service members active 20 years to be eligiable. Be prepared for your spouses mid-life crisis…and protect yourself.

  • Julie

    A marriage is not a marriage without dependency. Empathy or rather the lack of, is becoming a huge problem in this country. To be human is to be Vulnerable, Author Brene Brown explains it very well. Here is a link. Thank you for addressing the elephant in the livingroom.

  • ArmyGirlMP05

    If you use the term”serve” as in to support your military spouse and their military career, take care of the home while they are deployed, being active in FRG to assist other military families during the hard times then yes you “serve.” The only issue I have with the use of the term is when a wife tells me I need to salute her because her husband is a LTC. Umm… Nope! In that situation the term is being used inappropriately. Those types of spouses are the only ones I have an issue with and the number of those types keep growing! Yes, there are good spouses that indeed do a lot and I am thankful for their faithfulness and support to their soldiers, But DO NOT be the one that goes around thinking that just because your husband is an E-8 or an O-7 that you also wear that rank and deserve the same perks and/or treatment! You do not put on the uniform and do their job everyday, you do not deploy and get shot at so do not go around acting like you are entitled or that you “serve” just like your husband, because they that is a different kind of serve that people need to recognize. Don’t wear your husbands rank is all I ask, because you didn’t earn it! :)

    • sabrinacking

      I just have a hard time believing an LTCs wife said you had to salute her…I hear these comments and I chalk them up to urban legend. Were you a gate guard or something? In 18 odd years I have NEVER met a wife who expected, or asked or even demanded being saluted for Pete’s sake. Maybe she was a brand new trophy wife….lol. What I do witness every new duty station is a need to prove ones self as a sane, faithful, mature wife. It seems especially female soldiers think we are all lazy, cheating, unworking hangers on.

      • Guest

        HAHAHA “Urban Legend” that is classic! I love it! In 20 years I have never once met or known or even heard of a spouse telling another spouse she had to salute them…or even a gate guard for that matter. This is definitely something recent, I think that certain bored and hateful women have made up. I agree…urban legend indeed!

        • sabrinacking

          Maybe we need to get Snopes on it!

      • AmerianWoman

        I tend to agree with you, sabrinacking. In my 23 years as a military wife, I honestly never saw one other spouse who overtly wore “rank” to which they were not entitled.

        And this ‘urban legend’ was a fairly common refrain among many young female military members even back then.

        I suppose the US military leadership still hasn’t figured out that this disrespectful rumor needs to be directly addressed with their active duty troops. Or perhaps they perceive some advantage to be gained from allowing this disrespect for others to continue unabated among their female active duty members.

    • HM_USNandProud

      I too, am AD. And I whole heartedly agree with you, despite the defensive dependents giving their “I”ve never seen such a thing in all my years..” comments.. WELL, NO, YOU HAVENT SEEN IT because you were not the one it’s happening to. Duh. I myself, work in the medical field. AND I am constantly talked down upon by self richeous military dependent spouses that wear their husbands rank. The other comments that say it’s just “urban legend” that women in the military make up because we’re bored..? What, are you kidding me? You think that’s all we have to do? No, I’m sorry, but I’m too busy writing all the referrals for your elective surgeries that your “FREE” healthcare provides to you.

  • Djak

    Oh dear, I about saw red when I read that “you only served dinner” comment. For whomever believes that being dependent on a service is a bad thing…just remember that the dependency is a two way street. When my husband was in Iraq, and other guys wives were either running wild or cowering in a corner unable to cope, my husband was secure in the knowledge that I would handle any problems that came my way. I held down the fort, so to speak, kept all the bills paid, made sure money went into savings, and took care of any crisis that came up that he’d normally handle when he’s home.
    As he’s already told me, if I’m dependent on him…he’s equally dependent on me. It’s sad that not all military spouses are trustworthy and dependable, but the same is said of men and women across the globe, whether they are in uniform or not.

    • Roxanne

      Hear hear! You are dead on sister!!

  • Vanessa

    I loved this piece. I am one of those women who has to keep it secret that I was the main breadwinner for the majority of our marriage. I was working 100 hour weeks so my husband could get his degree and get a commission– but I have to shut up about that. To say so would risk implying that I helped my husband get where he is today. Even if it’s the truth, I am a red-eyed devil for saying it. And now? Now I have to shut up about how hard I tried to find a job– any job– after he got his commission with the Army and I had to leave my career behind. It broke my heart every time the interviewer sniffed out my Army wife status and the interview was suddenly over. Now, I am supposed to sit in shame because even after sending out 200 resumes, and going on countless interviews, I am still a SAHM. In any other society, people would let me be. I wouldn’t be under the Army wife microscope. I wouldn’t be made to feel like garbage for not being able to single-handedly fix the economy and provide myself with the career of my dreams. I’m not supposed to be saying any of this. I guess I am supposed to make a sandwich and count my blessings, right?

  • Shawna

    I do not claim to ever been through what my husband has been through, 6 deployments all 12-15 months, all in war zones, more injuries that I can count, but if you asked my husband he would tell you that he could not do what I have done. I have 4 children, on that passed away a week before Christmas, my husband didn’t make it home for 6 months after because his job was critical. I suppose I understand that. I also raised my children on my own while not shedding a single tear in front of them through all of his injuries, all my pregnancies, which I was alone for, or three years of chemo, which I did alone, usually having to take children with me because there was no one to watch them. Days when I shouldn’t have been out of bed but I was up at 05 taking care of small children on my own and waiting on a phone call. I’ve never asked for sympathy or held anything against my husband. Now he has been medically retired, and I will for the rest of his life have to care for him, our small children, and his amputee uncle which he decided to move in with us, so yes from time to time I depend on my husband for strength, and support, but does he not depend on me?

    • sabrinacking

      Big giant hug Shawna. You’re amazing!

  • Candy King

    I feel sorry for the person that said the non-service member does not serve. My husband served 30 years in the Marines and he has always said I served just as much as he did. He may have gone off and fought for his country and I stayed home but we fought to keep the home going so he would have a home to come home too. I raised for sons. He was serving his country, so most of the time I had them alone. But we were very proud of his service to keep us free and he was/is very proud he had a good home and family that loved/loves him to come home too. Who ever made this statement about we not serving, I feel for his family, they aren’t getting the recognition they derserve!

  • Vet-dep

    There are some dependents that have served too…Just because they are dependents now doesn’t mean they’re not also veterans…

  • Kat

    Of course a military spouse blog would take the absolute extreme examples and act as if they are the norm. No one is saying do not be proud of your husband or of YOUR OWN accomplishments. When spouses act as if their service member’s accomplishments are their own or they are somehow melded together into one or that their spouse’s service somehow entitles them to special treatment it gives us all a bad name and annoys other spouses who actually have an identity outside their spouse and the spouse’s military service.

  • Guest

    If you pay attention, much of command even thanks the wives/spouses for what they do. They say we are an important part of the army and keep the soldiers Morale up so they can focus on their duty. Spouses serve in many ways, much different from our soldiers, not specifically for our country, and not in rank or uniform, but still important.

  • SMH

    I apologize for being so unruly; however, I must disagree! With that being said, there is no way to compare a Military spouse to the job of a Service Member! Raising children is something women have done throughout history, there are single mothers in the Military who do what your husbands do AND come home to do what you have to do! I see no issue with a Military spouse staying home and taking care of the household, the problems pertain to the type of spouse who believes the the world owes her for her husbands service. As a spouse, you have to know your place!

    • pecan333

      Perhaps if you realized your commitment and efforts to sustain that servicemember’s career you might have a different viewpoint. SPOUSE’s of military have it WORSE…no doubt about it…and please, unless you are deployed to an actual WAR ZONE, there is no comparison to what the familly has to deal with ALONE at home. There should be some gratitude for the sacrifices that military spouses’ make…and they do without realizing the price they will pay…THEY NEED information and honesty about what they will face, because a lot of them find out afterward and regret it.

    • Holly

      Hang on- let me clear the bit of vomit out of my mouth.
      A Military service member who is a mother is either out doing her job in uniform or home doing he job with her children. But, she does not do them both at the same time so what is your point? Do you think raising children isn’t a job? Are you one of those? Do you think that being female magically just grants you the superpowers to wave your magic woman hands and the kids are suddenly clean, fed, educated, supported with that not being any kind of work you’ve just put in or JOB you’ve done completing? Whether the soldier is female or male if they have a family, or even just a pet, for that matter, there suddenly becomes another demanding and crucial job that becomes vital in nature for that soldier to continue to serve their country. It’s an entire support system of which every piece is crucial and voluntary therefore the whole of them serves the country.

    • tara

      “know your place”?!?!?!

    • Amanda_USN

      I am one of these single active duty mothers you speak of, and even though the other women that responded here sound completey naive.. “OH *GASP!!* Someone can actually do both and not demand to be treated special?!” You are spot on.

      We “single AD mother’s (and father’s!) do not sit here and demand recognition and respect, in fact, we are criticized. YOU SHOULD know your place as a spouse. Yes sure, it takes a strong woman or man to deal with the moving and separations, but how often are (for example) do you see lawyer’s wives berading social media forums demanding thank yous for the big case her husband just won, or criminal they put in jail? Or police officer’s wife taking drug dealers off the street, or a journalist that reports news from dangerous grounds? Why is it that because your husband or wife’s chose a career in the military, that somehow makes you special? And I can say that, because my career is in the military. And i’m no more special than the firefighter’s fighting fires and you’re no more special than their wives just the same.

  • Tammy

    Healthy dependence is all good and well, and I don’t disagree on any point you made. Solidly written, it’s undeniably true that the family of a military member must deal with the uncertain schedules of the loved one. There are two main things to consider in this argument, however.

    First, the dependents are no more “serving” than a CEO’s dependent is working for the corporation. The sacrifices are admirable and should in no way be scoffed at, but there is a fine line between familial sacrifice and “service”.

    Second, many of us have encountered the dependent who believes that the rank of the service member is worn by the whole family. The family is deserving of respect, but not because of the service member’s rank. In the same way, each service member and his or her family is deserving of equal respect regardless of the service member’s rank.

    So while I agree with the points you made, I believe that the premise upon which the arguments were made is invalid and insufficiently supported.

    • former spouse

      I am really surprised you compared being a CEO’s wife to being a military wife. Apples to oranges. Yes, CEOs work long hours, as do military… BUT they do not put their lives on the line; they are not deployed; they do not relocate with no say in the matter AND they are paid handsomely. Frankly, your premise is invalid and unsupported.

  • Courtney

    Ok, look. It seems that a lot of you are getting this all wrong. It is not the “good wives” that people have an issue with. It’s the stupid, lazy, rank wearing and unfaithful ones that we have an issue with. The term “dependapotomas” is not meant to describe EVERY military spouse! It is used to describe as I stated, “the stupid, lazy, rank wearing and unfaithful” spouses that are out there. Anyone with a sane mind knows that there are great military spouses out there that greatly support their service member and are there for them during the rough times, takes care of the home while they are away, participates in the community and FRG to help other military families in need. I am THANKFUL for THOSE spouses! However, there are spouses out there that lie, cheat, and steal. There are some that somehow didn’t learn how to clean when they were growing up and apparently didn’t learn how to take care of anyone other than themselves. THOSE are the spouses that get bashed and called out!

    • AmerianWoman

      Likewise, all of those active duty military members who are stupid, lazy, rank-conscious, or unfaithful should be called out and condemned, just as loudly as you seem to think military spouses should be.

  • Courtney

    PLEASE people, understand that the stories you read about “dependopotomas'” are NOT describing EVERY military spouse, it is referring to the BAD ones. __As for the term “serve.” Look, WE know that spouses do “serve” to a certain extent. A military spouse using the term “serve” isn’t a bad thing and that’s not what some have an issue with. What we have an issue with is when a dependent uses the term “serve” as if just because they are married to a service member that means they are in the military as well and deserve the same military customs and courtesies and actual service members do.

  • Courtney

    For example, a wife fussed at me and said “hey sergeant, don’t you owe me a salute” I replied ” ma’am I apologize but you are not in uniform and I have no idea who you are” She then replied “I am ___________ ,my husband is LTC ______” I said “Ma’am….do you mind showing me your ID card?” She shows me her dependent ID….. I gave her a blank stare and politely as I could, replied “Ma’am you are a dependent, not the service member, I am only required to salute your husband if he were here not you.” In the end she stomped off, cussing me out, and tried going to my command, but of course nothing came of it. A dependent that acts like this woman did….is called a dependapotomas. This example, is NOT “serving.” Just because you are married to a service member doesn’t mean you are one yourself.

    • AmerianWoman

      And I would add that just because one wears the uniform does not necessarily mean that individual possesses the excellent qualities of personal character and the high levels of competence which the US military publicly declares that all of its members are required to exhibit at all times.

      Respect is earned solely by one’s own personal actions and mature behaviors, not because of any uniform or rank which is conferred upon one.

    • former spouse

      I do not believe your story.

    • Veteran

      No way this happened. No field grade wife would ever believe she is owed a salute.

  • ArmyWife2

    It goes beyond just serving your own family members, but the roles many military spouses take on in “support” of service members. Most military spouses are in a service role. There is nothing wrong with saying military spouses serve; rebuttal arguments are fallacious.

  • Courtney

    Continued….(last one I promise)
    You do not rate to wear the uniform, you do not deploy and get shot at, therefore you do not have the right to the rank you spouse wears, nor are you entitled to the same customs and courtesies they are. So now, everyone can relax and stop taking everything so dang personal. Everyone knows that not all spouses are bad. It’s just the bad ones we don’t like and make fun of! Like the ones that resale Plan B on a yard sale site, even when it says “For Clinic Use Only, not for Resale” in big letters on the front of the package. True story!

  • TJ Johnson

    An easy solution, a better command of the English language! change the description from dependent to service family member! whether we are blood related or not to the service member is irrelevant, we are all part of the military family, as long as we are connected to it via the service member.

    I am British and I actually feel incorrectly addressed as a’dependent’, or for that fact ‘co-dependent’. I feel that a change is long overdue, lets get with the real time peeps and then solider on!

    • AmerianWoman

      I was very surprised to see the use of this word “dependent” in this forum in 2013.

      There was a determined effort by the military leadership during the 1980’s to eliminate the use of the word “dependent” altogether, and to replace it with the gender-neutral terms, “spouse” or “child” of a military member.

      Apparently that effort failed, in spite of the vast amounts of time and resources which were expended by the military leadership at that time.

  • Jim HaRRIS

    My View: Many of the nay-sayers about military dependents often turn out to have a burr in their butt about the military generally. It’s like the hippie-60’s era; but its just less politically correct to be “blatantly” anti-military. But many hippies and h-wannabes still carry this inner hatred for those who may have made better moral choices than they did.

    • Sarah

      Yes- because it’s so moral to be in the military – the majority of which is conservative Christian, and cheer for dropping bombs in other countries and killing thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis. Incredibly moral.

  • Jim Harris

    Let me hasten to add — I understand a lot of the above comments are from service people about service people and their dependents.

    My comments reflect what I observed/heard from outside “the military community.”

  • NotSoNormal0128

    I am a stay at home mom, and quite frankly I do not care what anyone thinks about it! I am fortunate enough to be home with my son instead of paying someone else to do it. I think everything else was spot on though!

    • sod

      awesome choice for your son, but….PROTECT YOURSELF. Have you heard the term “mid life crisis ???

      • Guest

        I agree so many spouses that get comfortable they do not seek to have any employable skills and God forbid they get forced out of the military community by divorce or worse it’s pretty hard for them to support their families. My dental hygienist (a former milspouse) got divorced with 5 children. Her ex-husband still in the military with a new family. When the other shoe dropped she was left without much to support herself much less her kids. To top it off she is constantly battling her former spouse for support. Who would have ever thought the person you once depended on and supported would be the very person constantly working against you. Luckily she was young enough to reinvent herself, and her career in this economy that works against, women, ages, milspouses, and now single mothers. So I agree fully with SOD I was complacent happy with the JUST but she opened my eyes. You need a sturdy umbrella for yourself in case of a storm in the military community it storms quite often.

  • If the military wanted servicemembers to have families, they would have come standard issued. That’s why servicemembers depend on their spouses.Yes, spouses serve – we serve to keep the overall morale of the servicemembers up. We serve so they can have some semblance of a normal life when they are not deployed. Great article!

  • Rebekah

    Courteney – I’ve noticed that the harshest criticisms of military spouses seem to come from women in uniform, and your comments above seem likewise to be an attempt at justifying why it’s okay to bash military spouses (I.e, ‘ I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about her…’). This — wives versus female troops– rivalry has baffled me for the 10 years I’ve been an Army wife. I don’t see Facebook groups or slang terms created by military wives to ridicule female service members — so why do the female troops seem to take so much pleasure in tearing down the wives?

    • AmerianWoman

      Your perception is correct, Rebekah. And it is unfortunate that the US military leadership allows this behavior to continue – and I expect it is even worse today than it was 25 years ago, when I was a military wife.

    • sabrinacking

      I have to day, in their defense, I thin it goes both ways. Their is a deep animosity in the Army at least amongst wives vs. female service members. Some of it is jealousy in both counts. People have deployed so many times and wives are tired of being alone and tired or the down range stories or pregnancies that come back. Female soldiers are tired of being called 31Juliets and sluts etc…they have a tough row to hoe in the military as it is. So its a chicken and egg thing as far as I can decipher. Though…I will say, I think 99% of the dependapotamus stereotype is total BS created by female soldiers. No different than 99% of the all female soldiers are selling themselves downrange is total BS created by wives. It just NEEDS TO STOP. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, we’ve been in two wars. The real work will begin when all these soldiers male and female come home, we don’t have the time or energy for in fighting.

    • Amanda

      Im AD, and I’ll just be blunt about it. Wives (and NOT all..) are jealous that female soldiers/sailors spend 80% of their time with their significant other and automatically assume that we are sleeping together. Female AD get extremely tired of this.. I live in base housing. I get scuffed at and dirty looks in uniform by spouses on base ALL THE TIME, and by people I’ve never seen. And it’s hard not to make comments about the fat, lazy, dependapotamous’ that give us these looks and talk so much trash.
      Side note: If I were a dependent wife, I might think the same way though (so it’s a vicious cycle) because as a woman, I know how women think, and married men are a “challenge” to some, and it makes me sick. But I’m well aware that it does happen.

  • Brenda

    Being a Mother is a thankless “job” much like being a Military Wife. Being a Mother can be measured by the self satisfaction we know when our children grow to become responsible adults and good citizens. Being a Military Wife can be measured by the self satisfaction we know when we maintain a happy and healthy family. It is simple… It is not about YOU! It is about your husband, children, family, and community. It is a partnership; a full-time job requiring selflessness, patience, perseverance, and continuity. And, when the day is done, rest, relax, and get ready to do it all over again Because as Mothers and Military Wives We are Exceptional! People depend on us to get the job done. It is what is expected and it is what we do. Otherwise, perhaps you should find a different calling!

  • Holly

    Yes- “know your place”
    Which if you think like that- your place is in some country under Sharia law under a burka!

  • ajchicago2823

    Well said!

  • Dori

    Visit the Navy Memorial in DC and walk aroun the friezes. My favorite shows women holding children are standing on a pier waiting for the carrier to come into port. It is entitled, “They Who Wait Also Serve.”

  • Susan

    I agree with this article 100%

  • Rhonda

    The site wasn’t working correctly. Post were delayed then posted several times.

  • caz

    1st wife was a Marine Sgt & mother of my 2 kids (always supported)…. 2nd wife Army Lt…… both made it to 10 yrs, ….. maybe just sorta becuz of the deployment orderfunnys I sometimes did….. sometimes didn’t volunteer for….. HEY PEOPLE…… it’s what what we got paid to do…………….. did SE Asia….Beruit……. funny 5 sided bdlg…. on #3…… we’ll see how it works out…….


    I have been studying the similarities between military families and families with an incarcerated member:
    Here are the similarities:
    Incarcerated spouses often say their family is also incarcerated as military spouse often say their families serve
    Both spouses go without, move often to follow member/inmate, and or deemed unemployable.
    Both are financially strapped incarcerated families are more though as they do not have financial assistance
    Both lifestyles effect the children as the member/inmate miss important milestones.
    inmate/member face tough prospects of being employed one they return to society/civilian hood.
    Both spouses face opposition from outsiders who do not understand their lives.
    Both spouses have sets of guidelines rules to adhere and have to be escorted on base/prisons.

    I was just soo surprised of all of the similarities.

    • sabrinacking

      And both get conjugal visits….bwahahahhahahaha. Its actually a running joke in this house that prisoners get more together time than we get during deployments.

  • corivee

    I am a wife of a Marine, married nine years, I don’t just “serve dinner.” He gets an occasional blow job too.

  • yep

    haha then why on earth if you have been married to the service member for 10years while he served you are entitled, by the government to half his retirement.

  • jholgate1957


  • DependUPONamous :)

    Bravo on a nice read! Judgemental twits are everywhere. “Dependent” is a title on a form, not a characteristic of a person. Why do people care how others live their lives? Work, stay at home, go to the gym, eat ice cream & be lazy, join the PTA or don’t …..whatever works for you & your family is all that matters.

  • Mumzy

    I was highly insulted by the ‘you only serve dinner’ comment. In fact, I think I will make my husband heat up his own frozen dinner tonight. :-P

  • Stephanie

    I was dependent on my husband before he joined. He lost his job when the company closed and depended on me. There’s nothing wrong with support. There is something wrong with entitlement and greed :) and I don’t think I serve with him. I am doing my job as a mother, with or without him, I would do the same. I don’t get up and go to work. I don’t get up and go to PT every morning. I don’t deploy. I don’t work for the Army, so I don’t serve. I live my life along side my husband. If he was still an accountant and had to move, I would move.. in fact I did. Twice. I never served as an accountant’s wife. He was gone long hours then too.

  • Dawn

    All of these comments are the reason I’ve chosen to remove myself from the military spousal community and make friends outside of that organization. I thought I would be joining a community of support, but what I’ve seen over the lat 14 years is bitter women and disrespectful military members who over exaggerate their treatment by spouses of higher ranked military members. Who cares what term is used to describe the sacrifices a military spouse makes for their family and country. How about the majority of you find something useful to put your passion into rather than insulting others for how they desribe their lives as a military spouse.

  • Cinnamon

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you for posting this, it’s nice to know we’re not alone.