This post is sponsored by Martinsburg College. I received compensation for this post through my relationship with the Quality Blue Community. All opinions are my own.
As a military spouse in both the Marines and now Army, I often hear little clichés both online and off about military life. Most are harmless assumptions like, “I thought you had to move every four years no matter what?” and “Are you allowed to live off of the post?” (No and Yes) Others are a bit more… peculiar. I had someone tell me they thought all military families qualified for food stamps regardless of rank – and apparently regardless of pay as well.
The ones that are harder to dispel, and therefore end up carrying a lot of weight as they get repeated, are what I’m going to write on a bit.
- Military marriages never last. This cheery bit of info never seems to die. While it’s true that military marriages face an incredible amount of stress, time apart, changes, and often younger men and women – the real rate is around 3.1% for 2015. Surprised? I actually was too – I thought it was around 25% since I’m often quoted, “Half of all military marriages won’t make it.” Sam and I have pretty much every odd available stacked against us; we married at 19 and 20, he’s had multiple deployments and went to war in 2005, we’ve faced the losses of children, and we live far from family. Yet like so many other couples in the military, we’ve tried our hardest to let these difficult circumstances bring us closer together, creating a history instead of a divide in our 12 1/2 years of marriage.
- Military spouses don’t have any bills to pay. Sigh. Where does this happen and can someone sign me up for that military? If we live off post, we get a housing stipend based on local rates (if you live on post, housing is usually paid for), it still doesn’t cover utilities and added expenses. Beyond that – all the same bills as everyone else.
- Military spouses can’t further their education. If you’ve read my blog for a little while, you know that this year I went back to school to become a therapist. I wasn’t sure if it would be possible for me to find any we could afford (having a rather large amount of student loans already). As active duty and a veteran, I knew Sam had a lot of options for paying/discounts, but I was surprised to find that as a spouse I did as well. Going to a campus wasn’t ideal with my schedule, and the tuition is much more, so I looked at online ones, like Martinsburg College mentioned below. Groups on Facebook like Military Spouses in the Field, offer suggestions and ideas on how to balance work/life/school as a military spouse.
For those considering a school like Martinsburg college, here are some facts to keep in mind:
- Martinsburg has been working with the military community since 2004. They understand the needs of service members and their families and have adapted their institutional policies to make sure that they take into consideration the unique challenges faced by this student group.
- Depending on the program students are provided with digital access to one or more textbooks related to their areas of study. These resources are very expensive – ranging from $100 to more than $300 per program if a student were required to buy them.
- Students attending Martinsburg College have access to a advanced learning management system (LMS) which provides an interactive and rich educational experience and makes it simple to progress logically through your program.
So while each career field and lifestyle choice comes with their own, inevitable misconceptions, hopefully this clears up a few of the most often heard ones about military families.