Friday, March 27, 2015

Military 'Entitlement'

Yay! I found something non-baby related that inspired me! I started this blog to remind myself that 'Perception Is Everything' no matter what we go through during our military life, and this is the perfect example of just how important that is. This post may be geared towards the military, but I think you may find that it can translate based on the entitled society that seems to be taking over these days. Unfortunately, entitlement is a problem much larger than this particular article, but that's a topic for a different day.

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Someone posted this article on Facebook knowing that it would incite a wildfire among military families, but it did the opposite for me and I think I'm the only one that agrees with it. As the title states, I do think that {some} military families need to reevaluate their sense of entitlement, and this Carl fella made some good points. As I discuss these points, remember that none of you lovely bloggers fall into the entitled category. You are all the most amazing military spouses that I have come across, and I think you can agree that there is a difference between appreciating community support and demanding it.

Point #1: Civilians don't 'owe' service members anything. Sure, a 'Thank you for your service' goes a long way with the soldiers, but Will would never even expect that and half the time we forget to ask for the discounts available to us. He receives a paycheck and some pretty okay benefits, and that covers what we are 'owed' by this country. On top of that, I don't know many jobs that foot the bill for things like career training and flight school. The flight school alone would cost us beaucoup bucks out of our own pockets if he trained in the civilian world, and he's also had countless other training and schools in the last five years. That adds up to a lot of extra compensation the way I see it, and for that we are thankful.

Point # 2: 'Toughest job in the Army/Navy/Air Force/Marine' stickers aren't cool. I would NEVER think that my military...er...situation is harder than Will deploying, training, or going through flight school, so the thought of displaying one of those stickers makes me cringe. Plus, as Carl stated: Are there sacrifices involved in a military lifestyle? "Yes. But especially when that military family chooses to re-up for another tour, they are like the hunter going after the bear the second time. They have voluntarily chosen that life with full knowledge of what they are getting into and decided that the pros outweigh the cons." I hadn't ever thought of it that way, but it's funny how many families you see that have re-enlisted, and yet still have the same complaints. The only reason I can think that people would do that is if they are the type to complain about any situation they are in.

Point #3: Military families complaining about not making ends meet are causing their own financial hardship. It's public knowledge that the soldiers receive a decent wage when you include BAH, BAS, Benefits, etc., and that wage even goes up during deployments. You can't put a price on being separated and the soldiers being in harm's way, but the military isn't the only career field that has a dangerous environment. Barring that, if a family, any family, can't live off one salary then I suggest the spouse goes and gets a job. I managed to find jobs each time we moved, worked until we could save up enough money to have a decent savings and investment money, and we also learned to live within our means. WE control our financial situation instead of complaining about what the military pays or demanding support from others. "The hard, unpleasant truth is that many of the problems some military families have are at least somewhat self-induced- by having kids too young."

I think the main point that is lost in the article while he brings up such hot button issues, is that we shouldn't be looking to civilians or communities for our 'entitlements'. The government signs up soldiers at such a young age that they need to be mentoring and preparing these soldiers for the deployments and hardships to come. Getting married and starting a family right before you deploy is romantic in the movies, but in real life love {and/or lust} is not enough to carry a family through without proper strategy.


I'm a firm believer that it's not what you say, but how you say it. Should this Carl character have had a better, more compassionate approach to this topic? Of course. But he wanted a reaction and he got it. With my opinions, I hope to show that if you want more, go out and get it. If you don't have enough 'support', go out and find it. There are jobs out there, and there is more support within the military community than any other community I've ever seen. Be grateful for what you have, and if it's not enough...what are you going to do about it?


14 comments:

P!nky said...

Amen and amen, lady! I love your perspective on life, must be why we are such good friends! I love you and am so thankful for Will as he serves our country and for you as you support him!

<3!

Helene in Between said...

thank you so much for sharing this Janna. It was so interesting to see your take on it. I am not in that "world" so I really like seeing how others that are feel about it.

Becca said...

So dead on!!!! I LOVED this article when i read it. It is everything i believe and find to be true. I shared it on FB and started World War III. Of course i just grabbed the popcorn and watched these fools argue with themselves and prove their entitlements. You're awesome! Thank you for writing this!

Jen said...

Yes!! Point #3 is exactly how I feel! I get tired of people thinking that servicemembers don't make enough money when in reality they do when you include all the extras they get. Most who don't live the life have no idea.

Jenna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenna said...

I completely agree! Especially about pay. If you know anything even the slightest about money management skills then you should have no problem living within your means.

Cece said...

I see point #3 quite a bit being born and raised in a military town. It's a different lifestyle when you throw in the travel and deployments. It can make it tough for a spouse to maintain a job especially after you throw kids in the mix but these are all choices that are being made.

Katie @ Chalk it up to Better Luck said...

This is very interesting. The thing that is hard is that a lot of people DON'T think the way that you do. I have met young Soldiers that feel that they are owed the world. And sometimes their SOs feel the same way. But that is most likely becuase they didn't understand the weight of their decision when they made it. I made my decision after a LOT of thought and consideration and sometimes I still question it so I can understand people lashing out about it SOMETIMES. I just wish there was a way to keep younguns from spending their money on impractical cars and other things they don't need...

Nikki said...

While I am not military I can definitely see how this can apply to the civilian world as well. I also feel that a lot of civilians take for granted just exactly what military families go through. My best friend is in the military and I get a pretty good idea of what his wife goes through because we have come to become best friends as well. And seeing the sacrifices that that family has to make is insane.

Amanda said...

Ah! I unfortunately (fortunately?) had not seen this article floating around my Facebook yet.. but after reading it, I'm all like YES! I love your response too... the military lifestyle is unique, but we aren't owed anything. Is it great to feel appreciated as a military family? Sure.. but that doesn't mean I need a freaking discount, anywhere. Or free anything. It irks me when people complain about the military.. because like you said.. there are so many benefits.. SO many. That cost extra outside of the military, yet some have the nerve to complain about FREE healthcare.. I just don't get it.

Team O'Connor said...

Well said. I agree!

My-cliffnotes said...

Oh I heart you. As a military member, I am genuinely uncomfortable when people learn that I am in and then say "thank you for your service". I feel humbled every time but I never know what to say because "you're welcome" seems so weird, and "oh it's nothing" seems so superficial (to me).

The "toughest jobs" stickers also make me want to vomit.

As for the pay, you can totally live off of what the military pays you and save, travel and shop. You just have to budget and, oh I don't know, be a grown up!

x
Tab

Mallory said...

Amen, sister! Our boys get paid plenty and the benefits are better than any I have heard of. DLW is getting his bachelor's degree for FREE while getting paid is salary- you can't beat that! Does it suck to be separated from them? Sure but that's a choice we made when we married them. You won't ever hear me complain about this Army life because it has provided countless opportunities for DLW and our family. I'm so glad we're on the same page about this. Maybe someday we will be stationed at the same place :)

Keating Bartlett said...

Great post! The biggest thing that bothers me about some military wives is their sense of entitlement and believing their "job" is harder than their spouses. I would never say my job as a military spouse is harder than my husband's. My husband is a police officer in the Marine Corps. Even when he's not deployed, his life is on the line. He goes to work wearing a bullet proof vest. Maintaining our home, going to school, taking care of our fur baby, and being a wife is nowhere near as challenging or as stressful as his job.

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