I hate hearing people say we have the easy life. We have the good “free” health insurance. We get “free” housing. We get to “travel” all over. Oh and my favorite we get “discounts.”
Our health insurance may be free but only if we see the doctor THEY want us to see. Sometimes it may take weeks to get an appointment and when it’s finally the day it takes hours to get into the room and even longer in the base pharmacy waiting. And when you retire it’s not “free” anymore and unless you live by a base and can be seen there.
Unless I am mistaken we pay a mortgage, insurance, and taxes on our house that I believe we owe a lot of money on. We pay utilities like everyone else and though some places offer base housing it’s never “free” you always have to get money taken out of your paycheck. Yes we get a housing allowance but if we didn’t we couldn’t survive on base pay especially when we have to live in expensive areas (like Miami, California, Alaska.)
We get to “travel” all over. This cracks me up. My son who is 8 and in the third grade will be attending his sixth school next week. My 11th grader will be attending his 10th school next week as well. We have lived in 8 houses in the last 10
Years and 4 different states in the last 6 years. Moving is not fun your privacy is violated, things are broken or “missing”, and you never have enough time to unpack.
And those discounts we get barley make up for what we lose each time we PCS. An example is Home Depot/lowes 10% off. If I didn’t have to move and purchase and sell our homes every few years I wouldn’t be fixing them up all the time. Just when we get it the way we want it’s time to start over again and god forbid the market crashed and your house lost value.
What about the things we lose? The time without our families? The experiences my kids won’t have with their family? The friends we make and have to leave behind? The jobs and careers the spouse has to leave behind every few years? Don’t even think about getting vested because there’s never enough time!
I am in no way complaining but please don’t say military life is easy until you walk a year in the shoes of a military family. Yes we are also blessed with many things that I am thankful for. We have an amazing extended family of other military families and those we meet along the way. We have friends in probably every state and we are able to form bonds that will last a life time. We get a steady paycheck we can count on and we have the option (usually) of retirement.
I have been struggling ever since my sister left with missing my family and friends and I have been consistently telling myself it’s the life we chose but that doesn’t make it easier. It doesn’t make me feel less lonely and it doesn’t make me cry less. This move to Miami has been the hardest yet on me and even though I have some amazing friends and family here I have some amazing friends and family I have had to leave behind to. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Alaska, California, Utah all have been home to me at some point in the last ten years and each place I leave behind amazing people. Those people have all been important in my life and my kids lives. If you are one of those people Thank You. For being there, for listening, for caring, and for continuing to do all of that. While I may be sad today tomorrow’s a new day and I can only move forward and be optimistic of what the future holds. ❤️