Husband wants to join the military, but we have 3 small children!!

Maria - posted on 07/31/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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We are in debt up to our eyeballs and my husband is on unemployment. He is considering joining the military to ensure that we will be okay. But we are going on our 3rd baby, and we are very close to the family. I can't imagine leaving the family, especially when the kids are so young. But I would surely go with him. I would like to know if this is a smart decision, and how others cope with leaving the family? Also, what should I do if he gets deployed?? I am so scared.

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Rebecca - posted on 08/01/2009

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When my husband divorced from his first wife, she took him for everything. He decided to join the Army as a medic (MP was his first choice). It was a little rough while he was at basic and AIT. I was all the way across the country and didn't know anyone except his children (they were 12,11, 9, 7 and 4 at the time). It was very scary for a little while, but I learned to be more independent and the time flew by. Since his training, he is never at a loss for a job. EMT's are needed all over the country. He has also used his GI Bill and received an AA degree and is starting on his BA in October. I am also eligible to use his GI Bill (starting today) and if he gets deployed, I can go to any public school in the state and the government will pay.

It was exactly what we needed when we needed it. If you use all the benefits, it is certainly worth it. Plus, I do all my shopping on base and it is so much cheaper. We also have healthcare we don't have to worry about since everyone takes it everywhere.

Military isn't for everyone, but it has helped us out tremendously. My husband is looking forward to getting his officer commission in a few months, which is really exciting.

I think a major issue for him was when he went to basic, he was the oldest one there. (He was 32 at the time). Most of the other guys were just out of high school. He made it through and even said it was fun; well he said that after he was finished...

Another thing you may want to look into is the Reserves... He could use the training he receives and apply it to civilian life right when he gets back.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

Becky - posted on 04/30/2010

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Hi.. We were in the same as you. We had our daughter and my husband was working at a gas station and we knew we wanted something better. After talking A LOT we decided for him to join and it was the BEST thing to every happen to us. Free medical and you will always get that paycheck on the 1st and 15th of every month. If you live on base you don't even have to worry about any bills (besides cable, phone, internet) Go Air Force.. It is the most family friendly. When he left for basic it was hard at first but you get into a routine. My husband joining has even made us a closer family and I love it now.. Just make sure you guys talk to each other about everything and don't hold anything back from each other.

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The military can be a good experience. There are some things to know though. First, you will always have health insurance, and pay days come twice a month. These things - just knowing them will help. Also if you move, the Army moves you.

Being military can come with many benefits and it's share of aggravations. You are the mom, so how you adjust will be the big thing in how it goes. If you have a bad attitude, and always say how much you hate where you live, they will too. Try to fight that, it doesn't help them or you. Look at it as an adventure - you get to see new places and meet new people and make new friends all on the U.S. dollar. There are great support systems in the military and it isn't like it used to be. The FRG is going to be there to help and there is Miltary OneSource. these are just a few of the things that can help you as you make the adjustment.

Leaving your family is difficult and so is saying goodbye, but if it means food on the table and a roof over your head, then isn't it worth it? Be glad he is even thinking about something as a job option. My husband is a reservist, he worked for Cessna and thank goodness we can now go military as a back up plan. In this economy, we are very fortunate to have the option of going full time military. I will be very sad to leave where we live and so will our girls since we've been here 9 yrs, but as long as we are together, we can pretty much face anything.

I hope that helps a little.

Good luck.

Paula - posted on 01/25/2010

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Okay my husband and I went throught this samething about ummm a yr ago now...He was laid off his job at a refinery here in Louisiana they said they were downsizing and blah blah blah...(yah still alittle mad about it but hey..) anyway...nothing was really going on but construction and we REALLY DIDNT wanna go back that route and so he looked into coast guard and the recuiter pretty much told him he was to old and he said okay...so He told me he was gonna go talk to the ARMY recruiter...I almost passed out I grew up military so I kinda know what its like...But anyway my husband was 28 at the time and he felt alittle outta place we have three kids one together..two from a previous relationship(mine)...but we weighed the pros and cons and decided that it was the best option because one he cant get layed off....we get medical for the kids and myself as well as him...we got the commissary and PX/BX to be able to use...and so many other things...the only con I could find was the deployments and moving away from freinds and family...Those are so Major cons but until you go thru atleast one of them you never know how strong you really are and independent...My husband is surronded by younger people constantly and it drives him crazy cause they refuse to listen still about staying clean and my husband is OCD about it....but he does what he does for our family and I think if it is what both of you want and you really should sit down and tlak about it and weigh both of your pros and cons then atleast try it...it will probably be the hardest thing you have gone through..but in the end you will see how truely strong you are and how strong your family is....Hope it all works out for you....good luck!!

Tara - posted on 11/19/2009

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I have 3 small children too and husband is gone for a year. funny when i read your story because we were in the same situation. It is really important that if thats what he wants to do that he has your support cause it will never happen if he doesnt. If you like your job as a mother it can be liberating knowing that you can handle a lot more than you though...my kids are 4 2 and 6 mos.....It can be a long lengthy application process, so its best he gets on it right away. it can take months, its not as bad as i thought it would be. It is also important that he realy investigates his trade and that he involves you in that decision .....because different trades have different deployments etc.....I wanted to make sure my husband wasnt in the navy as they can be gone from what i understand for up to two years for ex. and I didnt want him in a high risk job not that you can avoid that but there are some that are higher than others so we made that decision together .....and ultimately came up with something he was happy with and that I could live with..lol.....there are many perks the benefits are good , life insurance, and pay is guaranteed, not a bad decision, but make sure you do some homework....you can get alot of answers you might want from the forces forum at army.ca

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Teresa - posted on 10/11/2012

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i have a question where having money issues my partner wants to join the army he wreckons he can choose where he can be and we all get housed and dont get moved around we have a 1 year old boy thats living with us but i have 3 other nkids that ndont live with me in sydney i cant move away from them

Lynn - posted on 01/21/2010

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I have to agree with everybody else. The military is a life long choice. But some people can benifit greatly from it. It sounds like the American Military takes really good care of their troops. My husband is currently in the Canadian Military. The one thing I would suggest, if you start talking about trade options, is for him to take a trade that he can use after he gets out, like an EMT/Medic or a Vehicle Technician/Mechanic. He can get all that training, and when it comes time for him to retire from the military, he has all that experience, and may only need to write his tickets.
I can understand the part about being away from family, but on the plus side, it will help your kids to adapt. Growing up, my parents moved a lot (we moved every 5 years it seemed). It helps you learn to adapt to new places, and how to make new friends. I have friends now that have lived in Edmonton their entire life, and would never consider moving to a different place. If my husband were to get posted to someplace else, I wouldn't hesitate going with him. Moving wouldn't bother me.
I agree that it is hard to leave family, but with technology the way it is today, you are only a phone call, or a web-call away. We stay in touch with our family with a weekly web-call to my parents and the mother-in-law. It helps my daughter stay in touch with her grandparents, and gets her used to talking with them. You can also find the support of other military spouses that are around you. Remember, if this is a choice that you guys make, you won't be the only ones who are living it. Living on a base, your kids will be interacting with other kids who have a parent gone away on training or on deployment. It is a wonderful life if that is what you choose.
But, communication is the key. Ensure that you guys do keep your communication up. Best wishes to your family in whatever choice you guys make.

Amy - posted on 01/19/2010

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Hi Maria, my name is Amy and I am a military wife and mom. I differ from you in only having one child, and my husband was enlisted in the military prior to us having our child. I do have some advice for you though from my own opinions, you may take them however you wish. I am 100% proud of my husband for doing what he does. It takes a brave soul in our nation to join our military, especially in today's world with the wars going on. If it is the money situation you two are concerned about, he needs to be sure it is something he truly wants and just doesn't need. Being a military personel is not an easy job, and it is not just a job but a way of life. My husband has now been in the military for a little over 8 years, and he wouldn't be the same man he is today if he didn't have that to be proud of. He loves being able to protect his family, friends, community and country, but it is quite demanding. He is only part time (national guard)so he only has drill once a month, and two weeks a summer, but can be called up for active duty at any time. Being deployed is only part of it. He could possibly be put on state active duty also if there is a position that needs filled, even if just temporary. It is a lot to think about for the both of you. I support my husband completely though, and I support any wife that stands behind their man for wanting to better his life for himself and his family. It is a struggle for us, but the pay is good even for just part time, benefits are great, especially if he makes it a 20 year career then he has retirement. Being away is hard, but we deal with it as much as possible. If deployment happens, just make sure your children have pictures and can talk to him as much as possible to help them remember him. It is hard for everyone, sometimes harder on the men. PLease remember that also as you two make your decisions. But I beg you!! Please talk together!!! Best wishes to your family!

Amina - posted on 01/14/2010

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Hey, I know your worries! I have been there....we were young with 2 kids. My husband chose to join the Navy and we don't regret anything! I won't lie to you and tell you that it will fix everything overnight but it def. opened doors for us and got us started! Check out his Commands FB.....NRS Goldsbor, his name is AG1 Ball. You can ask any ?? you might have and he is honest about everything!! He will tell you pros and cons of all branches...including the Navy. He will also tell you what options you have and what is available to you because you guys have kids. Then you can go from there and decide what branch might be best for your family. Hope this helps!

Nykee - posted on 01/10/2010

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Woops, I certainly didn't notice the maple leaves... I'm talking about the US Military! Sorry if I gave misleading information...

Tara - posted on 01/10/2010

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not trying to be rude but i don't know if anyone noticed that is a Canadian support our troops ribbon and the military runs a lot differently than in the states

Nykee - posted on 01/09/2010

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One thing I forgot - you have to be careful to not get further into debt when you get your sign-on bonus... a lot of people get a lump sum of money when they sign in and go crazy buying new cars and such... but that amount can really really make a dent in debt if you're smart about it.

Nykee - posted on 01/09/2010

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The military pay isn't wonderful, but it's steady. It's not the easiest life in the world, but it is a guaranteed steady pay check. I would suggest joining the air force, as it's more family friendly (and the bases tend to be nicer - not always, but usually). My husband's in the army and wishes he would've gone air force. Also, the army offers budgeting classes for free to soldiers and families, which can be really helpful. The other plus is that you get free schooling while you're in the military - up to $4500/year - and after serving three years, you're eligible for the new post 9/11 GI bill, which is fabulous for schooling after you're out of the military. If you have specific questions, please please feel free to contact me. I'll be as straight forward as I can with you about what to expect. I definitely think that if you're struggling and think you can handle the distance, the military is a great path to take. They have a lot of programs you can take advantage of to get as far as you want to go in life.

[deleted account]

Take a breath. IF he chooses to join after talking with you, it is his choice, you as a spouse have choices too.

Tara - posted on 11/20/2009

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I know there is a cap on the amount of debt you can have to get in too....i am not sure if its just debt in collections or if its debt period but might be something to look into

Heather - posted on 10/19/2009

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Hi I'm Heather, I'm an Army wife. It takes some thinking to make the right decision, but can be tough. Military is rough, but then it has it's good. Free Tricare....def helps especially with children. I can't speak of being away from family because my family is here near me but I know plenty of ppl. You and your husband would have holidays to visit family I know that for sure. My husband is currently deployed for the second time and I just had our first daughter four months ago so it really sucks. It's hard when they deploy and I don't want to lie but I learn to deal with it and try and think positive thoughts. Being deployed too can help with the debt. He will have extra money coming his way and especially with that seperation pay. Just make sure that you both agree on it.

Stacy - posted on 08/04/2009

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I think joining the military is the smartest decision he can make. You all will have health care benifits and a steady pay check. Also, he will get payed for housing and food... not much but it will help alot b/c that is on top of his "regular" pay. Leaving the family can be hard but most of the time you will be able to develope a new "family." Also, when/ if he joins you will have a bunch of benifits, ie: the comissary= you save alot of money on groceries and the BX= you pay no taxes :) I am not sure how I would handle a deployment sense my husband hasnt been deployed yet. I would suggest checking out the book called "Married to the Military" it is pretty good and has a bunch of info. I hope I helped some... let me know if you have any specific questions and I will be happy to answer them.

Meg - posted on 08/03/2009

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We're were in much the same shoes two years ago when my husband enlisted in the Air Force... We didn't have kids but we were deep in debt and his company was going under and laying everyone off. The beginning was a rough one. I ended up being three months pregnant when he shipped off to boot camp. I got married at 19 and have never been very independent so I was a gasping, horrified fish out of the water! Our friends and family didn't support our decision so that really made things difficult, esp when I miscarried twins at 4 months... It was my worst nightmare come true and I had a hard time that first year feeling really angry at the world, but in the end I've learned mountains and mountains of things, I'm closer to my husband, and I'm actually in love with most of military life. Sometimes I'm still overwhelmed... but I've chosen to embrace the hard times because they make the good ones just that much sweeter. We're expecting a baby girl in November. I'm starting college this month with the Pell Grant thats provided for military spouses which means all my college is paid for. My husband is getting his degree and if we decide to get out at the end of his term, he'll have a very good paying job in the civilian world. You sound like the kind of gal that is committed and that is really what it takes. I can't tell you how to survive some of those long lonely nights but they just make reunions that much sweeter... and it does get a tiny bit easier. My advice is to be 100% sure about your decision because having that in the back of your mind is a lot of times the only thing that will keep you going and also, make sure you guys communicate, communicate, communicate... The military really changes a guy and sometimes it takes a little bit for them to get over boot camp, etc. and get back to their old self... but they do.

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