I've been thinking lately. (I know that's nothing unusual and yet scary all at the same time.)
I'm officially unemployed again. The school year has ended, summer vacation has started. And so begins the countdown to moving away from Kansas back home near our family.
There's alot of things that I'm going to miss about the military life. Weird, strange things that we take for granted. The civilian world is a super scary place. So, here's my list of pros and cons about things I'm going to miss when we're out of the military.
CONS to leaving the military
1) Military ID: As horrible and disgusting as my picture is on that thing, it's been on my person for the past five years. I don't go anywhere without it and I have to use it for pretty much everything on post. It's kinda like a badge. A badge of honor...yeah...I'm an Army Wife. what now??
2) Military neighbors/friends: The civilian world has nothing on the military community. We all are in the same situation. We've been there, we are there, or we're going there. Gives a new meaning to "Been There Done That Got the Shirt". Everyone is here for the same reason and we all have a common life. In the civilian world...there's all the different mixes that just make for a disconnected mess. We have a camaradarie and link to each other in one way or another.
3) Commissary: GAH I have a love-hate relationship with that place. It's chaos on paydays, but there's deals that you just don't get in the civilian world. Meat is cheaper. Milk is cheaper. Coupons that only military installations have. I dunno what I'm gonna do without access to this!!!
4) Free Concerts: I've seen some mighty awesome concerts being affiliated with the military. Those celebrities love to support their troops. And we as the families love when they do!!
5) Stability: okay...this is somewhat of an oxymoron. You do what the army tells you, when they tell you. But you have a house, you have a job, you have electricity. Things are provided that you have to provide for yourself in the civilian world. Losing that is probably the scariest of them all!
6) Medical: I'm gonna miss being able to go to the doctor anytime I want without have to worry if I can pay the deductible or co-pay. I'm REALLY going to miss getting pretty much all of my medications for free (including ibuprofen). If I think I'm falling apart now...wait till I have no medical. It could be ugly.
7) Opportunities: The military provides opportunities that the civilian world just doesn't get. We travel, we see new places, we learn new things, we get discounts at lots of different places. You can't do that in the real world unless you're made of money.
8) Support (Battle buddies): The government and everyone around you are always there to support you. Granted, sometimes it's not very good support, but there's good intentions. If something happens in the real world, and if you don't have family or really good friends, you're kinda on your own. There's always someone here who's got your back.
1) Freedom/Independence: Being able to go anywhere you want, whenever you want.
2) Family: Being near family. That's the one thing I've missed the most being gone.
3) Pride: Once an Army Wife...always an Army Wife.
There's many more PROS, but these are the top three that pretty much trump everything else.
So, when a civlian comes up to me when I get home and asks me if I'm glad to be done with the military life, my answer is going to be "not really". Because I do love the lifestyle even with it's challenges.