Do Military Families Feel Entitled?

marines-civilians

There’s been a lot of chatter over the past few years about the disconnect between civilians and the military community. I do believe that there is a huge disconnect, but I also believe it’s not entirely a bad thing. One day I hope to flush out my thoughts on this subject here. For now, I’d like to discuss the entitlement culture. Or rather, I’d like to pose a question. Has the pendulum swung from military families being humbled and grateful for the strong sense of support they receive from the general public, to them feeling entitled?

I recently read a letter to the editor by Theodore Perkins which began with this:

I have recently become aware of something that I find both disturbing and annoying: Many who serve as the current crop of U.S. military are not the brave, honest, upstanding citizens who we have come to admire and respect. I don’t mean that this applies to ALL military; God knows that such a generalization would be offensive and insulting to those that do serve their country with pride, and who actually are forthright and upstanding citizens. I should explain …

In recent conversations with local business people, service providers, and neighbors, it has come to our attention that  a growing percentage of the current crop of service people (and their spouses/significant others; more about them in a few) are in many ways no better than the gang members and criminals who the services try to weed out. For that, the blame falls squarely on us, the John Q and Joan Q Public of this country. It seems that the surge of pride and patriotism of the last few years has created a nasty side effect – a demonstrative attitude of Entitlement and Superiority on the part of our trusted military and their families.

I would encourage you to read the entire piece. For starters, I think we can stipulate, as does the author, that isolated pockets of bad behavior should not rub off on an entire community. It’s never a good idea to paint with a broad brush. However, after I chewed on this letter for a while, I began to recall a few examples which made me wonder if the pendulum is creeping a bit.

Last year, I had a conversation with a military spouse who thought it was a good idea to boycott a local business because they withdrew a military discount which they had offered for several years. My position was that the business never had to offer the discount in the first place and that the economy is very bad and businesses and families are necessarily cutting back. I thought it a bad idea, and unfair, to cause a stir.

Fast forward a few months where I was attending a Military Appreciation event and heard a speaker tell a group of military spouses that if a store doesn’t offer a discount, we should go in and demand it because we “deserve” it. Although I admired the speaker and enjoyed the rest of the speech, I cringed at that statement. There’s a difference between inquiring and demanding.

More recently was the Sears Heroes at Home incident. So many of us were embarrassed by the behavior of those who lost sight of the fact that this was a gracious gift on behalf of Sears.

Without question, military service is a unique occupation. World events orchestrated by very bad actors always place us at the mercy of those bad actors. And politicians. When a decision is made to go to war, the effects of that decision will be overwhelmingly shouldered by military families. Yes, service members volunteer, but that doesn’t make the load any less heavy to bear. And while I feel America should be grateful that we have men and women who willingly place their lives on the line to protect their country, there’s a very distinct line between accepting appreciation and expecting entitlements.

Mr. Perkins ends with this:

Now, I do have to clarify this somewhat. Don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that all military personnel an their families are like this; far from it! And I have heard stories of older military (both active and retired) giving a much needed “dressing-down” to the disrespectful youth. But I have seen this bad behavior too often lately to wonder where it went wrong; when did respect and thankfulness for a job well done become an excuse for “gimmee, gimmee gimmee”?

I just needed to get this off of my chest. With a few exceptions, I still have the highest respect for our military personnel; to quote Winston Churchill: “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”

I’m sorry that Mr. Perkins and those in his community have been subjected to inappropriate demands and behavior by those in our community. In no way do I believe that the majority of military families expect special treatment, but unfortunately perceptions are formed by the snapshots each of us are exposed to. And when more of those snapshots are of bad behavior than good, it’s easy to see how resentment can build, fairly or otherwise. So while I pulled out a few snapshots of my own when writing this post, that’s because I’ve only recently begun to see these types of examples. For those concerned with the military/civilian divide, this should be a distressing development.

I’m not convinced the overall tide is changing. Perhaps the bad apples simply leave a larger footprint than the good ones. For every example I’ve cited above, I can cite dozens of conversations with milspouses who have been appalled at such behavior. But if indeed the pendulum has swung in the direction of entitlement — or even if it is swinging — we will never build bridges between our communities.

About the Author

Andi

Andi is married to an active-duty soldier and is the founder and former editor of SpouseBUZZ.

She is the founder of the Annual MilBlog Conference. The MilBlog Conference is the premiere event of the year for military bloggers. President George W. Bush, U.S. Representative Adam Smith, GEN David Petraeus, LTG Mike Oates, LTG William Caldwell, RADM Mark Fox, MG Kevin Bergner, MG David Hogg and The Honorable Pete Geren have addressed previous conferences.

While living in Washington, DC, Andi was the Ambassador to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for Sew Much Comfort, a non-profit organization which makes and delivers, free of charge, special adaptive clothing for wounded service members. Andi has worked with several non-profits to help our wounded heroes and their families. She finds that work to be the most rewarding and meaningful of all.

Andi strives to find humor in the good, bad and ugly of life and is a firm believer that laughter has the ability to cure most ills.

  • Thank you! I was beginning to think I was the only one seeing this! I’m a military spouse, but I’m also former active USAF and currently ANG. I belong to several Facebook wives groups and get gobsmacked so often by how many wives I see acting like spoilt princesses who expect people to give them everything on a silver platter just because of who they’re married to. The base housing page is the worst with wives throwing complete tantrums over having to pull their own weeds or walk an extra 3 feet to pick up their paper or having to wait an unthinkable 3 hours for maintenance to come and fix something. I can’t help but wonder if the majority went straight from high school to marrying their milspouse with absolutely no experience out in the civilian world where…gods forbid….you have to mow your own lawn and do your own maintenance on your house (or call someone to do it and pay a good chunk of money for it). More (silly word limits)>>

    • We just moved from a non-military city to a large Army base and the difference in the attitude of the military and spouses is like night and day. The people at the Guard bases/armories in our own town work hand-in-hand with the community with alot of appreciation for each other. Military discounts, perks, and community events are not seen as expected things that we’re entitled to, but a privilege and gift…and likewise, the community gratefully gives alot back to the military in turn. Someone getting upset over not getting a military discount is a definite rarity (sure we may grumble a bit every now and again and wish that more businesses would give a discount, but as a whole, we’re highly appreciative of those businesses that do, realizing that they don’t have to…especially since it’s not a military town). More>>

  • The whole Sears debacle was highly embarassing and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Sears decided not to do it again next year. If people insist on treating companies who are trying their best to support the military like their efforts are unappreciated, then there’s a good chance they’ll decide that they no longer wish to support the military.

    More>>

    • Elle

      Agreed entirely.

    • Stephanie Q.

      I completely agree that military families should never demand special treatment but as far as sears i haven’t had the best respect for the company. I went in to buy my husband a welcome home gift from his year long, when i asked if they had a military discount the sales associate actually told me like “why your alreday getting it on sale, and no we don’t have one.” I was kind of shocked that i was treated like I was looking for a handout. I don’t blame the company but I wouldn’t want to shop at that particular store anytime soon.

    • L.Miller

      Extremely great and valid points! You said what I have been hoping and praying, that the “whining princesses” are in the minority. Unfortunately, at our base, they make a GREAT amount of noise for being a tiny minority and it causes the rest of us nothing but headache and heartache. On a base of thousands, a hundred or so have thrown a serious cog in the machine and we all suffer for it.

    • Being from a military family, 3 generations worth. I know how people feel when they do make the sacrifice. Also though, the sacrifice is made out of personal choice. And personal choice is left for everyone one else to “treat” the ones who demand cause they sacrifice. I am a huge supporter for the American Armed Services, I am not supporting those who wish to only capitalize on a chosen sacrifice.

  • Donna

    This has been a long time coming. The FRG experience buttresses the notion in many ways, spoonfeeding people information and giving free childcare and so on and so on. People mistake the generosity and intent as obligatory and somehow due them. I’ve seen it often in the past 20+ years I’ve been a military spouse. For example, when asked to arrange and/or pay for care for their own children in order to attend a meeting, some spouses will cry foul, complaining that “they” should be taking care of it, etc. Who “they” is is never specified but always refers to someone other than the complainers themselves. The MyCAA program is another example. It’s an expensive offering to the military spouse community, one that’s utterly unnecessary and in many ways utterly counterproductive to keeping troops serving longer, but when problems arose with it the howl that this “entitlement” was endangered was quite loud.

  • jessica

    this is a hard one for me. we are the new generation of military. and yes… i think there has been some entitlment. BUT it has came with the territory. us and/or our spouses have been at war for 10 years and we get paid VERY little for what we do. so when it comes to something like a discount, i dont personally feel that it HAS to be given to me. but i have walked out of a store over one. for example: i knew old navy had a discount, but didnt know it was subject to certain days. i had a cart full, and when i asked for the discount i was told its only on the first of the month. my response was “im not spending all this money in here when i can go across the isle and get the same thing minus 10%.” and i put it back and left. it wasnt meant to look like entitlment, but it was about money. we dont make alot. so i will get that discount wherever i can. lol. and i do think our small 1% deserves it. we keep our country what it is… free. for very little pay.

    • jessica

      let me clarify, that the only time i show “entitlment” is in a situation like this. i dont agree with the how these members/spouses behaved in the article. with wars came “quantity over quality” and unfortunately we have had quite a few bad apples. it came with the territory. i dont appreciate anyone behaving that badly. but i do think our country owes us something, and i would never be quiet about that. or sugar coat it. our spouses do alot and they deserve more. i dont appreciate how it was stated in the article about how we sit back and get all the perks. our perks arent that good for what we are doing. and that was offensive. but i understand that the writer was offended. but dont talk about us getting alot…. because its definately not enough.

      • Jessica, our country owes YOU nothing. It is not a “we” thing, unless you, yourself is also serving in the military. And yes, the perks that the military gets are so much better than out in the civilian world (even better than my union benefits)…

        Milspouses deserve no more recognition than the spouse of a physician, police officer, corrections officer, nurse, store manager

        • Mark w

          Military benefits SHOULD be better than your Union benefits. When you put your life on the line you should get better benefits. After all, you don’t deal with bullets, IEDs, and artillery and mortar attacks at the plant.

        • Kamila

          Jill, when was the last time your husband went on a 14 months business trip? I am grateful that we get advantages as spouses but very few non military folks can really imagine what it is to live 400 days alone with little or no help from anyone. I’m considering asking my husband to leave the military because of how hard it is on me his spouse and our kids. Maybe then, more bankers and plumbers can enlist and protect our freedom.

          • Kamila, I was a milspouse….my husband was gone alot and I had no family to help me, either. But I was not the one who served, that was my husband – any perks that I got/get is through him and his service, not because I felt entitled to it.

        • B White

          I wonder if you realize how little the service-members make. As a E-3 my husband made $0.25 hr. yes I said Twenty five cents an hour. (FYI E-3 is a Third Class which means there where service-members making less per hour) so when we get discount or tax free merchandise it help put clothes on our children and food on our tables. What you seem to be forgetting is that the spouses at home are the ones doing the shopping and taking care of things so the SERVICE-MEMBER can go to war without worrying if the bills will be paid and the kids will be feed and clothed. By default giving the service-member families benefits in turn is a thank you directly to the service-member.

          • Uh, E-3 is definitely not a 3rd Class! Ha ha, that is a Seaman. E-4 would be 3rd Class my friend.

          • Jennifer

            Are you including the tax free housing and clothing pay that you receive? I think military does pretty well. My husbands an E-6 with 12 years in and we make around 75K a year. Not too shabby when there aren’t many jobs paying that in the cilivian world.

      • Sue

        Jessica,
        In my humble and honest opinion, YOU ARE AN IDIOT!! You are not owed or entitled to anything. You need to remember that it is our SPOUSES – the MILITARY SERVICE MEMBERS NOT US, who signed to join and defend our country, our freedom. THEY are the ones putting their lives on the line and making the sacrifice for all of us NOT YOU. We as wives/husbands, are along for the ride. This is a choice we made. We were never forced to marry, love, support them in their job in this life. And also, wives whose husbands are certain rank do get assistance (WIC, AIRMANS ATTIC, other items that others don’t get nor would we want.). And it is the new generation that this seems to be more prominent in demanding entitlement. If you are having financial difficulties, because your spouse doesn’t make enough, manage your money better and get a job if you don’t have one. And please stop behaving like an entitled idiot and start showing some respect for our MILITARY SERVICE MEMBERS as THEY are the ones working hard and making the sacrifices for our country. NOT YOU!!! It’s pitiful!!

    • Pez

      What are you talking about? What do you mean very little pay? Service members most certainly do not “make bank”, but compared to the rest of the US, they are doing pretty darn good. Yes, they sacrifice, would it be nice to get a little extra, of course, but right now, in our economy, just being employed is something to be grateful for. My husband supports our family by serving in the military, all of our basic need are covered, plus a little extra. Also, joining the service, is a service, and if you have an expectation that everyone owns you something, then you are not serving anyone but yourself. Also, think about what you just wrote, Old Navy offers a discount once a month, so you only will shop there unless they give YOU a discount. The discount is a gift, an offer of thanks.

    • Paul

      Jessica Thank you for your service but I disagree with you. You said that “we don’t make a lot” if you think you don’t make enough then get out of the military and get a real job. Last time I looked (I was in for 25 years) let see we get
      •Base pay,
      •Housing allowance (BAH) or free on base hosing,
      •Food allowance,
      •Clothing allowance,
      •Free Medical, Dental, and Vision.
      •Education allowance such as Tuition Assistant for Active Duty that pays for collage up to $4,000 a year, and “The 911 GI Bill” that pays 100% of collage tuition plus BAH payments of $1300 a month for three years, and $1000 Books allowance per year.
      Special allowance
      •Jump pay,
      •Hostile fire pay (when deployed),
      •Hardship pay (when deployed over 30 days),
      •Family separation pay (When Deployed over 30 Days)
      •No federal income tax (when deployed in a combat zone

      • Paul

        You also get a lower cost and no tax at all AAFES PX/BX and Commissary. Did I leave anything else out, oh ya I forgot retirement pay, 50% or more of your base pay for the rest of your life if you stay for 20 or more years plus lower cost medical insurance with Tricare Prime.

        • dadda321

          Paul,

          While you are correct on the amount of pay it is not retirement pay, the correct term is retainer pay. This term is correct because until the age of 65 you can recalled back to active duty, if you sign a waiver you can come back after the age of 65 under specific conditions.

          V/R
          dadda321

        • Jennifer

          I agree with everything you said Paul, but I will say that the AAFES and PX way overcharge for their products so the tax free thing doesn’t really mean much when it comes to that. I was highly disappointed when we were stationed in Korea. We had to shop online because AAFES had products significantly higher than you could get them in most retail stores in America.

      • Sue

        Isn’t that the truth! Well said Paul!!

      • laine

        don’t forget the part of the salary that is not taxed BAH and seperate rations

      • nola

        Very well said paul. My spouse did serve and very thankful what the military has to offer. When he was an E-3 I budget for an E-2 pay. I always budget a rank lower then his rank and raising 2 kids. We always had extra to put in the savings and was debt free when he got out. I’m thankful when a business gave discounts and if they didn’t I’ll still shop there.

    • Debbie

      Are you in the military? By your post, it seems like you are representing yourself as a military member.

      • jessica

        no, but i do knoow its not just spouses on this forum. so i was trying to clarify all. and not just a spouse.

        • Retired SFC

          Jessica, you are not in the military an you’re not a spouse? So, where are you getting your information? Please confirm the facts before you post them. I was in the military for 21 years. I am still a member of the “system” through my retirement and I keep up-to-date on the pay and benefits.

          If, perhaps, you ARE a military spouse, I’d love to hear your comments when you are on the “other side of the fence” as a civilian spouse. I’m getting the feeling that you qualify as one of those “grass is always greener” dependapotomuses that my nephew (currently serving in the Air Force with his wife) talks about.

    • jessica

      ill reply to all. i just meant for what we are doing. i didnt say that i dont appreciate what we get…. just that i think our families DO deserve more. our military members back our country. and we back our military members. and without them doing what they do our country would be a completely different place. i think its ridiculous every time i get in line to use WIC. i cant believe that my husband is deployed, fighting a war and i still qualify for government assistance. that bothers me. and why i was offended by the “all the perks” comment. because sure… we get good health coverage and sure we get housing. but even with BAH (which is included in our income when being approved for WIC) we still qualify for the assistance. it makes me mad every time i stand in that line. all the perks do not add up at the end of the month. but i DO appreciate what there is. we just really do deserve more. i cant believe so many of you dont think we do deserve more. im actually really surprised.

      • jessica

        and i tried to clarify that i dont excuse poor behavior. we have a MORAL obligation to behave a certain way. and act like adults. but when “quantity over quality” came into play we got quite a few bad apples. and sometimes i have a bad day. where i need to do this, this and this…. and im on bed rest. but my husbands unit is insisting he go to the field. and blah blah blah,… all those other HORRIBLE army spouse days where i want to shout at someone… or anything really. but i dont. and thats where we have to be adults. but not all members are. i do know of horrible experiences. and i dont excuse them. but when it comes to something like a discount… i dont feel like its owed to me. but i will spend my money where its given. over spending it where its not. thats not entitlment to me. thats common sense, or being thrifty. i dont think its appropriate to just ditch an apartment. or yell at a cashier. but in certain circumstances im ok with looking like im entitled. and thats where the discount example was coming from.

      • Wic Worker

        I would just like to point out (for those that may not know, including you Jessica) that WIC is available to ANYONE. It does NOT go by your income like other government assistance programs. You could make !0,000 a year or 100,000 and STILL GET WIC. So when you say that you “feel ridiculous” every time you are in the checkout line using your WIC, you should have some research because it doesnt matter what you make, ANYONE can get it.

      • Sue

        Our MILITARY SERVICE MEMBERS deserve more. For YOU to be more respectful to them. Not to behave as though your are owed!

    • john murray

      Jessica – If you think you get little pay now, you missed the bad old days and should be REALLY happy you did. Military pay climbed substantially over the past decade plus compared to previous decades. As for the rest of your post I found myself cringing as I read it because in it I hear exactly what the author of this article was talking about. You DO display an attitude of “entitlement”. The whole idea of “our country ows us something” is an entitlement attitude. No it doesn’t. It’s NICE if the people in the country recognize what we do in the military and the sacrifices we and our families make, but they do not OWE that to us.
      The military is still a JOB. It has the side benefit of allowing those of us who serve/served to serve our country but bottom line is if you are in the military for the pay or benefits then you are getting everything you are “owed” when you get your check or use the base hospital, etc.
      Yes Jessica – YOU have an entitlement attitude and I’m afraid, like others, I am seeing this more and more, especially from spouses.

      • jessica

        if what i said is entitlment then i AM. i do not think what i said was rude, ignorant, and anywhere close to wrong. if you take our income, its more then the figure im going to give you. but its easiest with a well rounded number of $30,000. my husband makes $3.42 an hour based on him being expected to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. and he absolutely has pulled several all nighters. all nighters into all nighters. and while deployed they sleep only a few hours because thats their job… to work around the clock. so for me to say we deserve more, i feel absolutely justified in that. as i said before, i have NEVER been rude. i have never expected anyone, be it a cashier at some store, my landlord, our frg, or a sgt, to be at my becking call. and the wives with that behavior are absolutely out of line. but its ridiculous for anyone to think we get enough. or make enough. because we dont. we absolutely deserve more.

        • Sue

          In my humble opinion, YOU’RE AN IDIOT!! And you do behave like those other idiot wives – just like them. And if your husband makes more than the well rounded figure of 30,000, then he makes plenty and you need to manage your finances better. And that is a load of garbage that your husband makes 3.42/hr. My husband is in the service and does not work 24/7. If need be, and he is called upon outside his regular work hours, then he goes to do what is needed of him like all the other service members. I don’t know of any military service members who work 24/7.

      • Sue

        Well said john!!

    • Marta

      Not for nothing, but if I was struggling with making ends meet, having to apply for WIC, etc. The last place I think I’d shop is Old Navy. Discount or not. There are some great thrift stores in the area where you can get the same clothing at a much more DISCOUNTED price. Priorities are the biggest problem with society today. We think we’re entitled to discounts because we want to have the things we WANT, not the things we NEED. Old Navy clothing is not a NEED. But, if you choose to shop there, make sure you have the money to pay for it without pitching a fit about them not offering a discount. It’s only a matter of time before they throw their hands up in frustration and take that away as well.

      • jessica

        we arent struggling. and i do very well with our finances. but i do well because i do things like use a discount when i can. the whole point (which was lost LOONNNNGGG ago) was that i can see where the man in the article was coming from. because i have done/said something that looked ridiculous from the outside. but on the inside, where its coming from, is that here i am in this life. and i gotta make do with what i can. and if we have a little extra and i go to the mall, im still going to try and save where i can. and im POSITIVE that it came off as entitlment. but thats not what my intention at the time was. i went into all the other things because i was trying to justify myself. which i should have never done. i tried to make a point about feeling like we get little for such a large job. and then all the offensives insued about how us spouses dont do anything blah blah…

      • jessica

        it wasnt meant to be about the struggle my poor little family goes through. but that when you see entitlment maybe you should think about where its coming from. not that itd matter to these people because they think we are owed nothing for keeping our spouses safe so that they can keep them safe. and i said SEVERAL times that there is a line and that we should know how to behave. and i dont agree with the people in the article behaved. rather it shouldnt all be looked at the same way. some entitlments come from a good place. but all that was lost.

        • April

          Jessica, don’t worry, I totally understand what you are saying. I try not to complain, but after the fifth move (twice overseas) I think milspouses are entitled to feel gyped. I do. I don’t care what these people are saying because they are sounding really condescending and ignorant. It’s not like nobody is allowed to feel like they are worth more… at any point of their lives. Whatever. Just because we’d like a break now and then, it doesn’t make us evil people. We deal with **** just like everyone else. And when life is good – we are just as grateful. Will you just stop hating on this girl? GEEEEEEEZZZ.

      • here we go again.. you were eligible for WIC because not all of your entitlements are counted for as income. I have seen SSGTs on WIC. Give me a break! You know darn well if they can go to the shoppette and load up on BOOZE that they could choose to not buy the Jack Daniels and buy their baby some formula.

    • Bonnie

      On what you consider very little pay, my husband and I have gone from living in rat and roach infested studio apartments to a three bedroom home. I have gone from cleaning hotel rooms to being a stay at home mom. He has gone from flipping burgers to doing a job he loves in a mostly safe, clean environment. We have paid off the credit cards we used to use to buy food. We have paid off our cars and have gone from liability to full coverage insurance. Our girls have college funds. We are paying off student loans. We have money in the bank and our cabinets are overflowing with food. In the nearly two years that my husband, an E-4, has been in the military he has changed our lives with his “very little” pay. If you can’t live on that pay, YOU are doing something wrong.

      • jessica

        i didnt say i/we couldnt live on it. what i said was that i feel like we deserve more for what our spouses and our families go through. we do very well. we are on the other end where he took a pay cut joining but did it because this is what he wanted to do. and i personally feel that compared to what he was doing before, his job is MUCH harder. he works WAY longer hours. and every single soldier and their families deserve more. thats what was in the original post that everyone got heated about. and i cant believe that any spouse would think that their husband doesnt deserve more for what he is doing.

        • Bonnie

          A job my husband love, steady pay raises, opportunity for advancement, free health care (which with kids and preexisting conditions is like being given pure gold), free housing or the money to find housing and cover utilities, extra pay when my husband is away from us or in a dangerous area, commissary privleges, spouse programs to help me find a job if I choose or someone to
          check on me and my new baby while my husband is deployed, free or no cost childcare.

          What more could I possibly expect?

          I certainly can’t think of anything. I just can’t understand why you are complaining because your husband enjoys his job and you can live comfortably on the money. That is the American dream.

          • Bonnie

            * low cost childcare.

        • OMFG, wait.. YOURE A SPOUSE not AD?? /eyeroll I can not even deal with this. You’re a spouse talking about “we keep the country safe” bwahahaha.. wowzers. Okay.. walking away from this post now since it just derailed completely.

        • Jennifer

          But how much MORE are you talking about? What are you wanting? Your husband probably doesn’t have a degree from what I surmise, but makes decent money for his education level, you get low cost childcare, free pre-school (for us in Texas), free healthcare, access to SOOO many free resources you would normally have to pay for..such as psychologists, lawyers, tax assistors, ect. REALLY low cost food at the commissary. What the crap MORE do you want?

      • L.Miller

        It sounds like some Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University at work, there, Rock On! Dave completely changed our financial, and with it, the rest of our lives!

    • BS. It’s called money management and if you enlisted thinking you were going to get rich, then you obviously did not do your homework. The military does get paid well, and with a housing benefit, utility money AND insurance. Go work a civilian job and see “how well off your are”.. And let’s not even get started on the NON TAXABLE COMBAT ZONE PAY.. pfft, and to sit there and say you are too poor because you’re military. NO you’re too poor because you think filling your cart to the brim at Old Navy is only acceptable with a 10% discount. SMH How about you manage your money and not go on shopping sprees unless you have budgeted it in?

      • I take back my last comment seeings how I did not realize you were a spouse. I am still chuckling over this one. You posted your initial comments as if you were the active duty member.. “We keep this country safe” lawl.. unless you wake up and put on a military uniform (and no, not his abu’s made into a dress) then you do NOT keep the country safe. Your husband does. This is precisely why the world thinks military wives feel entitled. Stop grouping yourself in with HIM as if you both serve the Govt. Unless you put your hand up and swore to uphold the UCMJ and to devote your life to the military then you are NOT in the same category of your husband. You can choose to walk away at any point whereas, he can not. If his pay is not stretching enough, I might suggest looking for employment yourself. Then when you have your own identity, you will understand why the rest of us get so irked at comments like your own. Being married to a military member is not the same as being military yourself. Learn the difference and think about that before you go posting on a site and thus make yourself look the way you appear on this page.

        • Sue

          Amen, Sister Stacey!!

  • Petra

    It’s hard to draw a line at times. I am the first to ask at check-out whether there is a military or student discount. If not, oh well, nothing lost by asking, right? The Sears thing was embarrassing to say the least, but I still don’t view the majority of us as entitled. I think the ones who ARE, just tend to have the louder appearance and thus get noticed more. And it’s really not so much a military-specific phenomenon, it is a nation-wide issue. Being in college as a more *ahem* seasoned student, I encounter this “gimme” culture almost every day, starting with young adults demanding free food and ending with demands of grade adjustments and the idea that one doesn’t EARN an A, one DESERVES it just for showing up to class a few times. But of course like everything regarding the military, issues like this entitlement nature are blown out of proportion and scrutinized a lot more than in the civilian world…

    • I agree with Petra. It’s not just a milspouse thing, it’s a “younger” generation thing. I, too, will ask for military or student discount – if I get it, hey, it’s a bonus; if I don’t – oh well. Nothing is owed to me because my husband served or because my son is serving.

      And Jessica, honey, I hate to break it to you – but NOBODY OWES YOU anything. I owe your husband a thank you for serving, just as I owe one to my husband and son, but I owe ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to YOU! No said thank you to me for being a milspouse, I never asked for it, and certainly never DEMANDED it. I was not the one who served – that was my husband…I married him knowing that he’d be gone for periods of time, and that I’d be raising my children myself. If you didn’t realize that when you married him, then you are just ignorant.

  • Spouses of military members are still just as human as any other spouse and thereby, no more or less entitled to the same things. I think as a spouse who has been/is also military myself, I get a little annoyed when spouses act as though they are entitled to the same things/respect as the military member his/herself and start raising Caine when they don’t get it. Unless you signed on the dotted line and put the uniform on, you are a civilian…no different than the spouse of a banker, police officer, corporate president, restaurant owner, etc. Harsh? Maybe…but I think that there are plenty of spouses out there who need a serious wake-up call.

    • ex af

      Easily 40+ years ago you had the Col or Base Commander’s wife (not all, but enough) thinking that she wore the uniform. Cutting in line at the bx, demanding things because of who her husband was. Some things never change.

      If anything, the military has cut back on what it had 50 years ago, from medical care, to Space-A.

      Usually though if there were problems with the young troops, there were more than enough things form picking up litter to working in the mess hall to adjust the attitude as needed.

    • Erica

      There are alot of spouses that do need a wake up call but I have to say we are different than a civilian spouse. Most civilian spouses dont wake up alone for months or a year at a time. Does that make me feel like I deserve or are entitled to more things or respect no not by any means. When talking to people and they ask if Im in the service I tell them, “I didnt sign that dotted line, I signed another one.” If they want to treat me differently then that is of their own doing, I do not demand it of them. I am proud of the service that my husband provides and after 13 years of being around all the military I do find that I stand straighter and hold my head high because of that.

    • Chrisy

      I am a military wife and have served in Iraq I would trade my husband in a heart beat and before you say anything like I must have sat on a fob the whole time let me tell you I have been shot at ieds have went off on my truck mortars have come down so close to me I am lucky to be alive but sitting waiting for a 2 min phone call to make sure my husband is still alive kills me praying my kids don’t get sick cause I can’t miss anymore school or work or I will be fired sucks my family lives over a 1000 miles away and my friends have their own lives I say again I would trade my husband places in a heart beat I’m not saying that being over seas is not hard cause it was but hoping I don’t get the call that the love of my life is dead is harder so I know military wives deserve respect yea their whinny some of them can suck but I will never belittle the way they feel.

    • B White

      So when a service-member is killed in the line of duty how is that “NO DIFFERENT” than the corporate president’s wife or banker or restaurant owner job. I am a military spouse and I don’t ask for favors but I think you have crossed the line to think that service-member families are the same as civilian families. I DID have to sign “on the dotted line” when my husband enlisted. Civilian families have no concept of combat deployment is like and the toll it take on the entire family. So when their 9-5 husbands come home from work to 2.5 kids and dog to a home cooked dinner and still complains that the house is a mess and the kids are loud, many service-member families around the country are just waiting hoping to see if today they will get a call or email or letter that all is well and for some that day never comes. BECAUSE IT’S THE SERVICE-MEMBER TO IS OUT THERE RISKING HIS LIFE FOR THEIR FREEDOM. SOME DIE SOME COME HOME BATTERED, BEATEN AND BROKEN. BUT THERE CHIN IS STILL HELD HIGH WITH PRIDE.

    • Donna Capallia

      Amen!!! Thank you for telling it like it is.
      I have been a military ex wife and current wife of a retired !00% disabled retiree for over 30 years. I NEVER thought I was entitled.
      The only thing you or we are entitled to is respect just like the the rest of the people in the US.
      It’s like they say If the military wanted you to have a wife they would have issued you one.

      The wives today have no idea what it is really like to be a military wife. I do.

    • Samantha

      Thank you for this. I know this article and ordeal was written quite some time ago but I can’t seem to feel that all I see is this going on. It is getting worse and you deserve some major respect for voicing the opinion and I am thankful I am not the only one getting this impression.

  • Sarah

    @Jessica… You said twice that “we” don’t make much or “we” get paid very litte. Unless you are referring to your own job, I think that distinction of who is actually in the military is already blurred, and I think that’s where a lot of the feelings of entitlement come from when it comes to certain military spouses. I always ask if the store offers a military discount when I check out as well, but if they don’t, I still buy the items as planned. I view the discount as an extra perk and don’t expect it.

    I also don’t think that I, as a military spouse, “deserve” anything from this country. I signed up to be a military spouse; nobody forced me. Yes, I do think that appreciation and more awareness from the rest of the country would be nice, but the only thing I “deserve” for being a military spouse is the respect and appreciation I get from my husband while supporting him behind the scenes.

    • Chrisy

      I feel sorry for those wives out there who’s husbands consider it their money and not yours even before I started working I considered it our money because were married what’s mine is yours and yours is mine right

      • Sarah

        There is a difference between sharing the money you make because you’re married and acting like you’re the one who earned it. My husband gets paid each month on the 1st and the 15th, not me. Yes, the money goes to pay our bills, groceries, but I know that it isn’t me who gets up at 5 am every morning to do PT, spends days in the field, and of course deploys for a year at a time. I guess it’s easier for me to say all of that because I have my own job that contributes to our family fund. I feel sorry for the husbands whose wives spend their whole paychecks on needless items.

  • Paul

    All of this “Entitlements feelings” will change when the new military drawdown starts. The Army is losing 50,000 Active duty soldiers within the next two years, all together Obama and Congress want to trim the active duty end strength by a total of 200,000 Soldiers, Airman, Sailors, and Marines. Moreover, I was in the last drawdown in the 1990s and it was brutal and a wake-up call.

    • AzureSky

      How was it a wake up call Paul?( I really want to know because my DH may be facing an ERB from the Navy)
      And honestly I’m sick of everyone demanding that they get discounts and this &that these stores owe me something because I am married to someone in the military.

    • Amen Paul! Military pay will seem like a king’s ransom compared to trying to make it in the civilian world, especially for the lower-ranking troops with little to no education beyond a high school diploma. When you’re working a cash register or flipping burgers for minimum wage (or maybe slightly more if you’re lucky) with no heath benefits (or ones so expensive they drain a huge chunk of your already tiny paycheck), no housing allowance, no annual raise….military pay will look pretty sweet. I know….I’ve been there, done that. When the drawdown came, I thought I’d get a $30/hr job with one of the airlines (I was in avionics) with no problem. I was happy to leave the military and its “crappy” pay behind. Boy, was I wrong! The airlines were laying people off at the time too, so I had to take a job working retail for just slightly over minimum wage (and I only got that because my boss was retired military). It took me working retail for almost 10 years before I started making even close to what I had made in the military.

      • Paul

        Adrienne you got that right, just because CNN or ACAP say a job pays $50,000 a year does not mean you will get $50,000 a year doing that job. ACAP is a great resource but it is a little misleading. The unemployment rate is much higher for veterans then civilians and all this talk from the president about veteran’s jobs is just smoke and mirrors. Many businesses will hire veterans but at the lowest wage possible it’s all based on the experience in “that” position not the military experience. Likewise, unlike in the military, you have to pay for your benefits if you get any benefits at all, in a civilian job your medical will cost you around $300 a month, Dental around $100, Vision $60. In the end you benefits will take a third of your pay.

        • Plus they don’t always tell you all of the additional school and/or licensing you’ll need to get those $50k jobs. My airline “dream job” still required Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) and FCC licensing which involves additional schooling and tests. Sure I could’ve used my G.I. Bill for it, but I still needed a job to earn money just to live on. Being military does not guarantee a good job upon seperation…in fact, in these economic times, it doesn’t guarantee a job at all.

    • ex af

      It wasn’t brutal it was numbing. I remember them going through Friday afternoon, military, you’re getting a new assignment, civilian, CBPO will work with you, contractor, this is your last day.

  • Elijah

    And Now A Small Fisherman becomes A Trophy Fish.

  • The other day, I ordered a pizza for dinner. The guy on the phone was like “Are you military? We give a discount” I continued to tell him no, that my husband is in the military and I declined it. He kept pushing it on me like a used car salesman. *shrug* There are some decent wives out there. By the way, my husband was not partaking in our pizza eating activity (base wide exercise). There are other ways to save money. If times are hard, a military discount is not going to save you from debt- but a job will.

    • Amy

      I have no shame using the military discounts. I do not demand them — but I ask if they are there when i remember and I show my ID (with pride!) when I know a store has them. Like I said in my comment below, we BOTH volunteered to serve in a way .. he by putting his life on the line, me by being willing to raise a family solo by saying “farewell” when he deploys while knowing that he may not ever return. If a business wants to thank him for his service by giving his spouse a discount on pizza (because at least part of what we spend is what he has earned for his service) then even if he is not eating I’m going to say yes.

    • Brian

      JIm,
      In defense of my spouse, and military spouses everywhere: She has given any any hope of a long-term, meaningful career besides homemaker & mother (which also applies to men), plus what Amy said about deployments and kids. Believe me, my family puts up with enough crap from my being in the military that if a business is willing to offer them a discount on a pizza, they should take it. Stealing glory… what are you talking about? I didn’t realize a pizza qualified as “glory” nowadays.

      • Retired SFC

        Brian, I’m sorry that your spouse gave up any hope of a meaningful career. I served the country for 21 years and my military HUSBAND (who also happened to be a paraplegic due to an accident shortly after we married) managed to go to school and graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry WITH HONORS. At the same time, while I was on active duty, I managed to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Communications AND a Master of Arts in Journalism and Public Relations, also with honors. We both went on to have MEANINGFUL careers, including his career in the sciences for the last six years that I was serving in the military.

        See, it can be done. All you have to do is WANT it badly enough to sacrifice SOMETHING. It might be money, it might be time, it might be not having a mini-van-load full of screaming kids until you are financially READY to do so.

        No, pizza doesn’t qualify as “glory,” but the admiration, respect, and appreciation for serving in the military belongs to the service members, not to their spouses, parents, children, etc. If you want to be recognized for greatness, then ask to be recognized for the great things YOU did, not those of your family member.

        • annoyed

          The raging child hating self important feminist shows her true colors. I seriously hope you never had children.

          • kelly

            Why is she now a raging child hating self important feminist? Because she mentioned that it may be wiser to wait to have children until you’re financially ready? I’m all for people having children at any age they want to, but I do see the benefits of waiting until you’re more stable in your careers. It allows you to offer your kids a better quality of life and education. What’s wrong with that?

  • james

    those of you that are not military members or spouses have no idea and should not comment. what if we had no military? you would all cry and plead for help, so back off! and u damn right we deserve it for what we sacrifice for u idiots to be able to wake up and speak english and live free u should rub our feet!

    • See? The feeling of entitlement extends far beyond military families. What makes someone who doesn’t serve an idiot? Perhaps someone would give anything to serve but can’t because of their lot in life to be born with a genetic defect that is an automatic disqualifier.

      Words like “we sacrifice for you idiots” are what makes some people in the general public have the obscene opinion that putting together care packages for troops is a ridiculous notion (Google the Suffolk Law School professor who recently said this).

      Despite being a military spouse and lumped into the category of those allowed to comment per your rules, I hate feet and even if I were not affiliated with the military in any way shape or form, I would rather you do your own pedicure and foot rub.

    • As a military member and a spouse (and thereby having been given your oh-so-gracious permission to comment), I’m just curious as to what sacrifices we need to make for you to be able to wake up and type English.

    • Debbie

      It is an ALL volunteer military. There are sacrifices that are made but for you to assume that you have given America the right speak English. I believe that is a little far fetched. I retired last year after 23 years of service. My husband retired the year before after 23 years of service. I am both a veteran and a spouse of a veteran. You really need to get off of your high horse and pay more respect to this great country of ours.

    • Guest

      FYI, this is clearly a Troll.

    • ex af

      we’d save a ton of money. ever think how much avgas was burned by SAC in the 50s??

    • Doug Rivard

      Wow James! Let’s see, I am a disabled vet and a Military Brat so am I qualified to weigh in? Your attitude is exactly what everyone is talking about. I served, dad served, grandfather served and, in fact, we have served since the Revolution and nobody owes me anything. I served without thought of recompense beyond what I was contractually due. Even today when someone thanks me for my service I am humbled. When vets act as you do it is an embarrassment to the rest of us. Nobody owes you anything and with your attitude you will not even get respect.

    • civilian

      if you are military we would be better off without one

  • Stacy

    There are so many issues being brought up. LOL I do think there are military spouses who feel entitled. But is the military responding to needs and it’s gone overboard like the military is wont to do? Is it a reflection of the entitlement in our society? I think it’s some of both.

    I know I don’t want the thanks or respect that my husband deserves , but I do know my 17 years as an army wife is much different than the lives of my civilian friends.

  • OSMW

    Paul, you need to stop clouding this debate with your facts and common sense..

    Don’t you know us wives are sexually deprived for YOUR freedom and as spouses we clearly deserve a free meal at Applebee’s on Veterans Day?

    I do wish that people would stop thanking spouses for their service.. Servicing a service member does not equate service to this country..

    • ex af

      My pet peeve is the ‘freedom isn’t free’ bit you hear all the time now. You never heard that 30 years ago. Then again we knew the Bill of Rights was passed by Congress and not DoD back then.

    • Jennifer

      Now being a military spouse and Army veteran is very conflicting, because I do get a little jealous when someone stops my husband and thanks him for his service. I’m like “hey, I’m not just the little stay at home mom over here. I served too!” I also know both sides of the argument, and I get pissed off when I’m in a conversation like this and someone says “Well you wouldn’t know any better since you’re just a military spouse”. Umm..No. I wish people would stop just assuming that all military spouses have no experience with the other side.

  • Lolanda

    Wow where to start. I am a vet (Navy 92-96) and the wife of 17yrs to a sailor. So that being said I can tell you that the “military life” is WAYYYYYY better now than it was when I came in, got married in the early to mid 90’s. With pay raises, and organizations that give assistance to military, better dissemination of information through the Internet. I shudder when I hear some of the newer wives griping about how “horrible” they have it. We chose this life. No one “owes” us anything. I do believe this has a deeper root in the “entitlement” generation though. Its not exclusive to mil spouses.

    • OSMW

      Ah, very good point you make! I think this entitlement mentality is just the latest and greatest generation of spoiled teenagers growing into adults. Those teenagers who for the later part of their lives have had everything handed to them graciously by their parents (bills paid, cars bought, insurance paid, here’s a cellphone!) now they’ve found themselves a spouse in the military who can provide! But once they get that new shiny dependent ID in their greedy little fingers, that gives them the ammunition they need to stomp into Applebee’s on Veterans Day and demand a free steak dinner because “I SERVE TOO!” (yes, my FRG leader and the FRG secretary did that)

      Kids today..

      • jake ret usaf

        great answer osmw

  • Amy

    Andi has raised some very good points. Let me add my two cents:
    1. The entitlement among servicemembers and spouses (often times, i’m afraid, mostly among spouses) can be traced back to a larger entitlement culture, just like one commenter said above. We just given ourselves even greater leeway to feel this way based on how we’ve been taught to act. Doesn’t make it right. … but it does explain some things. We think it’s OK to think the world owes us something, and we take advantage of it.

    2. My husband serves — not me. That being said, when someone finds out that my husband is in the military and thanks ME for MY service (they always say “thank your husband for his service — and thank you for yours as well”) I know that they are not thanking me for putting my life on the line… they are thanking me for daily supporting in the most tangible, important ways the one who does. Our leaders time and again point out how much family support matters to the health (emotional and otherwise) of servicemembers. I appreciate the respect of a civilian who is acknowledging that being a military spouse is a hard job. Yes, I volunteered for it (just like my husband volunteered to serve!) … and I do not EXPECT respect, but I greatly appreciate it when it is there.

    • ex af

      though one thing that really sucks, the spouse has to put their career on hold unless they’re something like a teacher or a nurse that is employable anywhere with the every 2 year PCS. that has always been just rotten.

    • Amy . . . couldn’t agree more

      1. Entitlements: I’ve gotten the most interesting reactions from people in civilian and military world both when they find out that A: I’m a single mom who has done it on her own and has never asked ex for a dime. B: Has never gone to the gov’t for help even when things have gotten tight, but I can’t tell you how grateful I am for a close knit family whose advice and support has helped me during those short period of dark times dealing with ex and/or job-loss issues, and C: My boyfriend serves. I do and will appreciate the thank you’s . . on his behalf. He is the one who is a necessary and needed cog in the wheel of our nation’s security. My job is to support HIM and I’m grateful for those who recognize what our spouses and significant others do . . but I certainly don’t expect to be patted on the back . . I’d rather he was thanked. ;-)

    • Molly

      YES!!!! I appreciate the support as well. It is such a difficult life to be a spouse back at home when a military husband leaves. My husband always thanks me and tells me how much I make his job possible. That’s all I need.

  • Chris

    I do not respect anything additional from anyone because of my service.If it is offered, I say Thank You for the kindness. To demand anything from anyone because of my service I would find very distastefull. I did not serve for 33 years and four wars for a 10% discount from anyone. I learned along time ago that I was expected to wait in lines, and wait my turn. BTW, if I ever saw someone pulling BS like this, i would call them down. Actually, I am sometimes embarresed by this. I think most of us, both AC and retired just want to get on with our lives. Same thing goes when someone says, “Thank You for your service.” I say “You are welcome, but you don’t have to thank me for the privledge of serving with the best friends that I have ever known.” And I usually add, “Please just say a prayer for the wounded and KIA.”

  • joyce

    You stand one day in the shoes of one of the military soldiers and then complain!!! The military doesn’t give these soldiers and families anything, they earn it. Each and everyday that you sleep and wake to a new day these people are keeping you safe in your home. Go to another country and see how welcome and if there arms are opening. I think every high school student should do six weeks in ROTC under any branch of the service so, your children would know and understand what freedom is all about. You have to wear the uniform and stand by your man or woman to understand the military so, until you try it don’t judge!!!! USMC Semper Fi……

    • christina

      Couldn’t have said it better @joyce. Don’t judge what u don’t know. Semper fi

  • Honestly, I don’t think it’s a problem JUST within the military community, although that certainly exists. There are thousands – even millions – of people all over this country who feel entitled to have certain things. They feel like just because they want something, they should be able to have it…whether they have earned it or not. It’s a societal problem, not just a community problem. I would have thought that would change with the economical problems of late, but clearly it’s just gotten worse. I don’t know how people came to the idea that they “deserve” things just because they’re available. Oh wait…

  • dale

    Great post. Military people make twice more than civilians, yet we whine for more and more.

    • What? Maybe if you are a General, retire, and end up working as a greeter at Walmart (nothing wrong than that btw). I served 5 years active duty and presently still serve in the Army Reserves (as a SSG). I get paid way more as a civilian. Don’t know what stuff you are on, because I have a couple of friends who may be interested.

  • CMarie

    I’m a military member, not a spouse, but I think it’s fair to say spouses “serve,” too. We couldn’t do what we do as effectively without them taking care of the homefront.

    And I think it’s a good thing that the country is offering its support in many ways, discounts among them.

    But discounts should not be an expectation — if we want to see the pendulum swing in the other direction from supporting military families, continue that extortion mentality.

    And as far as the low pay…c’mon. Once you factor in BAH (and its tax-free status) and the fact that military members pay nothing for health care, how can anyone actually complain about the compensation? Are you going to get rich in the military? No. But you’re going to do reasonably similar to (or better than) your civilian equivalents (in terms of education, work experience, etc.)

  • beingmade

    I am ashamed to admit that there was a time when I would grumble about not getting discounts at times. I can even remember making a couple of comments under my breath. I hadn’t thought the issue through at that point.

    That said, I do think sometimes we sound as though we feel as though we are entitled and I don’t like the impression that leaves on people.

    At the same time, I don’t think it’s wrong for us to ask if places offer a discount. I’m not going to be angry at someone if they don’t, but it doesn’t hurt to ask and as long as you are polite about it, I don’t think it screams entitlement any more than someone asking for a Triple A discount or pulling out their AARP card.

    Some people mentioned MyCAA. My issue with that was that it was a program that was started and offered and that received a tremendous amount of positive feedback. This lifestyle DOES have repercussions on a spouse’s career–that point has been made HERE more than once. It was nice to feel understood in that predicament. Halfway through, without warning it was ripped away and the communication was botched. Was anyone entitled to that in the first place? No. Did it send a terrible message to spouse’s when it was revoked? Absolutely.

    As spouses we DO sacrifice. We don’t promise to spill our own blood, but promising to stand by while your husband comes and goes, when he DOES spill his blood, when he comes back changed, when we have to solo parent, those are all sacrifices we make for our country. And they are sacrifices I am PROUD to make, but I don’t feel like I should shrug off a heartfelt ‘thank you’ so as not to look as though I feel entitled. It’s nice to know that someone is empathetic enough to realize this life is difficult.

    The thing that upsets me about comments like this is how everyone jumps on a bandwagon. Immediately, people are pointing fingers at those ‘awful entitled people who would dare ask for a discount.’ Then you get the comments about spouses and how we ruin service members lives and careers by our terrible attitudes. We all start painting with a broad brush. I’m glad that this subject has been talked about and aired. I just wish we could all breathe and realize that there are times when we ALL need to re-evaluate our attitudes about things. It took me a while, and it took a few people non-confrontationally reminding me that these ‘perks’ are freely given, but I eventually did.

    • Retired SFC

      The difference between getting a discount for AAA or AARP is that people actually PAY these organizations for their services and the organizations, in turn, negotiate discounts for the customers. The military is not a “for profit” organization, nor is it a lobbying group. The discounts given by individual companies is out of their corporate generosity and appreciation. I don’t think that anyone should feel entitled to anyone’s generosity. That’s why it’s called GENEROSITY.

      Don’t get me wrong, my husband (military spouse) and I (active duty retiree) take advantage of the discounts offered at Lowe’s and Home Depot, but we don’t EXPECT them. In fact, we were denied a discount on a major appliance at one Home Depot when we had received it on another appliance at a different Home Depot. It was interesting that different branches actually have different policies. (We are in the DC area and there are many military members here.)

      So, when you are “denied” a military discount, don’t automatically assume it’s “company policy,” because it seems that individual store managers apply the policy using their own interpretation.

  • john murray

    I see quite a bit of mixing things up here. i don’t think the author or anyone here is sugesting you are acting like you are entitled if you ASK if a store has a military discount. As pointed out by others that’s no different than asking if they hgave a discount for AAA or seniors. That isn’t the problem.
    The problem becomes when people complain that a store doesn’t offer a military discount or whines and complains if that discount goes away. THAT is acting like you are entitled.

  • jumper

    This is nothing new, or worse, and the letter to the editor was off the mark… probably due to witnessing a couple individuals in a town with thousands of military personnel. This sort of attitude toward “military entitlement” has always existed in places with active duty stations, the townies hate them, yet love to take their money. I remember in the late ’90’s the huge concern over the “epidemic” of drunk airman in town where I was at; it was 3 people. Officers wives have felt entitled for as long as I can remember, on base and off, believing their husband’s rank was their own. The letter to the editor was little more than an axe to grind with little supporting evidence to back it up to say this is a new and aggressive problem. While I make it a point to not where my uniform off base I do enjoy the simple “thank you” at the gas station as opposed to the screamed “baby killer” my father experienced in the 70’s. If that makes me entitled so be it.

  • INGWife

    Wow! I stopped reading these posts. They were ridiculous and embarrassing. The article made me think and wonder if I behaved in a way that would make me appear to have a feeling of “entitlement”. It was good because it was thought provoking and caused some self-searching. Thank you for the actual article! Reading the posts, I was disgusted by the arguments between everyone, spouses and military personnel. I thought we were family. I guess we are because we certainly argue and get petty like family can. Have a great day everyone!

  • john

    Seeing all these comments makes me extremely grateful and proud to have an amazing spouse who works hard and takes care of the family when I am away, keeping our heads above the water without complaining about not getting 10 percent off. Look around you everyone needs 10 percent off these days!

  • Paul Eric

    @Jessica – I find your comments utterly incredulous. One couldn’t find a better poster child for the issue being lamented “Do military families feel entitled?” You obviously lack much perspective of current economic affairs, history or perhaps even just what hardship on this planet really is!! Right now as we type over 850,000 veterans of the Iraq & Afghanistan campaigns are unemployed and have been for long periods (over 1 year). Thousands of Veterans in the USA are homeless! I know, I’m a vet and have been in those situations in the past few years. Historically, our military active duty received even less in terms of pay and benefits! And just try surviving on this planet like 50% or more on less than 5 bucks a day or so! Count your Blessings, Do something meaningful and stop griping – it’s gonna get worse; there’s a lot more room to slide down from where your sitting right now!! YOU JUST DON’T KNOW!

  • Natasha

    Now, I actually don’t use any store military discounts, ever actually, nor do I ever expect them. Now when my husband comes home, he uses them. Point being not everyone feels entiteled. Another thing, I think have a family member absent from your family is very challenging and very different then what one would experience in a “civilian lifestyle”. It presents different challenges. I dont ever expect anything actually, but do realize it sucks being just the spouse to. In fact do not think for even a second I would not rather be the one in the uniform. I would LOVE to join, but I cannot even imagine how hard it would be on my family if I and my husband where both enlisted. He is deployed right now, and I would much rather be there deployed and serving too, I would rather bust my ass and pass time there then be here, busting my ass at work and school, just to come home to an empty, lonely house every night.

    • natasha

      I also have to say, my husband will bein 10 years after his re enlistment is up, and although it is wise for him to stay in, his decision to get out is one that I am not going to tell him no too. Why? Because I cannot have a career I would enjoy if he stayed in, and I would have to sacrifice my own career for the good of his. Thank you ladies who have done this. Each side of the family, whether the memeber in service or the spouse has a role, each with different challenges, lets be kind to eachother. But no one is entitled to a discount. I dont mean this as a disrespect, I come from a long line of military, and I would much rather be the one in the uniform, but we can’t all have both spouses enlisted, my grandparents did it, she ended up getting out to take care of there kids.It is tough for both, and no one is entitled but dont act like the family does not take a involuntary stressor from it all. I truly wish I was enlisted and my husband was the one at home.

      • natasha

        I cannot spell today. LOL. Hopefully we can all use common sense to understand what i meant to type

        *I would enjoy if he stayed in, but I would have to give up a career I would enjoy and that in itself is a huge sacrifice, and frankly, it would kind of suck.

  • Heather

    Quite honestly, yes, I do see many, many of the younger soldiers/families with an entitlement attitude. By younger I mean, those who have come into the military in the last 5 to 10 years. I admit when I joined the army in 1993 it wasn’t for patriotic reasons, it was for an education, a job and direction. BUT, I didn’t expect the army to carry me, I had to work for everything I got. Now, do I except discounts when offered, absolutely. Just like other services oriented jobs are offered. Firemen, police officers, etc also have little extras here and there offered. But, if say, Disney stopped giving a discount I wouldn’t be out there griping about it. Now, mess with our healthcare, and that yes, I would fight tooth and nail.

  • John Cameron

    only time i’d listen to a spouse/parent is if the warrior can’t speak for themselves…
    also the combat record of the speaker would be my central focus…but i prefer the humble thank you sir/mam myself..

  • USAAF BRAT/USAF WIFE/USAF MOM… No rank here only Miss/Mrs/Mom! Military Life is what I was born into, so it’s all I know! Military Families don’t live in a bubble either! We are a diverse and cross section of our Country, so we’re gonna get a few bad apples as with all society….let us not let them spoil the reputation of All Military Families Present and Past! Post WWII Officer housing was screenless
    tarpaper covered barracks and the latrines were out back and that’s
    where all us kids got bathed @1830 every nite! After Vietnam along with our we were ridiculed

  • Sorry touchscreens 2 Touchy! Point I was trying to make was that Military Families and their Servicemembers have put up with alot of critisim and hardships over the years especially after ‘Nam! The Military Life is “nomadic-like”! Many times I didn’t get work because I was a “Transient”!!! Military Spouses have come a long way since Martha Washington we have a long legacy to be proud of let’s not let our Pride be our Shame!

  • No one is special.

    You want a medal because you volunteered to go kill people in a foreign country while our own goes down the toilet? Phuck the military. Puppets for banks and corporations. I don’t support war and killing, therefore I don’t support soldiers. You don’t like it? Move to North Korea where all they have is military and nothing else.

  • drgnbttrfly

    I have seen a lot of mentions about the HAH program and the bad behavior with Sears. Keep in mind that Sears makes money on this program. Essentially they get other people to “donate” money that will ultimately be spent at their store. There is a reason the “donations” aren’t tax deductible. So while there was definitely bad behavior, I don’t see Sears discontinuing it unless it costs them money, instead of makes them money. There is genuine giving and kindness from Sears customers who overall support the program.

    The average payout this year was $50 per family. Multiply that by 10,000 families. That means Sears can count on a profit of $500,000. Does anyone know exactly how many families got into the program this year? I heard it was 20,000.

    I got in on the first year of HAH. I went to spend the gift card at a local Kmart. Kmart is owned by Sears. There was an item I wanted, but it was broken. I asked an associate for the same item from the top shelf. He told me I should be grateful for the broken one, since it was free. Someone is paying for it.

    The program is an ingenious way to make more money for Sears.

  • Andi

    Importing comments from our facebook page:

    Marryanne – well said Mr. Perkins…well said. Not sure if it’s just a military thing or a generation thing though. I for sure see it among a lot of military spouses though.

    Jamie – Its a generation thing and an AMERICA thing. Our nation is full of entitled people. This article is crap and to point the finger at the less than 1% o this Nation actively serving and giving their lives everyday…is horrendus!!!!!

    Rebecca – As a military spouse of 20 years I could not agree more with the article. It has come to the point if something is being offered or given away I stay clear. It is not worth the risk of being stampeded. The last event I attended was put on by a hair care company and people were shoving and pushing to get as many free things as they could shove in their bag…no reading of the product, no stopping to see if they could use it…it was just an all out give me, give me, give me. I do not find it is divided by age, rank or otherwise…there are greedy apples in every section.

    Sarah -The article said it pretty well. I don’t see many military members acting entitled, but some spouses/family members have made my jaw drop with their sense of entitlement and attitude.

  • Agnes H

    Entitled? Hahaha… Let me tell you how little entitled I feel…My husband (veteran of the last two conflicts) and I are waiting for immigration papers for more than NINE months (despite a “non issue” file)! For NINE MONTHS (and still counting) only one of us has been able to work! Who, with a professional degree, wants to be forced into unemployment by administration, and this, for Nine months to see how “entitled” it feels? With a son in college, bills are piling up and remind me every day how little our administration cares for what the country is calling “our heroes”… So: feeling entitled…. Huh I am nowhere near to feel entitled!

  • Raydianc3

    I agree and disagree I don’t think anyone is entitled to anything. But at the same time I think we have the choice and option to pick and choose where we would like to give our business to. Our military families barely make enough and sometimes the discounts come in handy. Our society is money hungry, people are money hungry, this world is become runned by businesses and all I’m saying is that we have to stretch our buck but at the same time you can’t demand anything. I’m grateful for the companies that do off military discounts. But I don’t feel entitled to it, but I do stand on stretching our dollar to the best of my ability. It’s not just military that have this so called entitlement issue but it’s our police force, firefighters, people in higher ranking positions, our elderly. It’s not really entitlement but it’s not wanting to be taken advantage of. I’ve worked for companies that wanted to jiff the Seniors of their senior discounts because they didnt ask for it, or they asked to late. Why should we be a society that is so stuck on self and moving up off of someone’s elses loss than be respectable and honor company policy.

  • Guest

    Thinking of my own experiences and projecting… when Lowes/Home Depot offers its discount I am appreciative, but I also know that I am tired, tired of trying to find solutions to war-caused problems, tired of flying solo, tired of putting my professional career on hold or in 2nd place and all sorts of other tirednesses associated with being in the service. The first thing you learn about PTSD is that “they” take it out on the ones they love (what a privilege!). So, where do we take it out?… probably on those we encounter “in the world” who slight us by taking away something that has given us comfort and an ounce of elevation above the problems…. just saying…maybe not rational.

  • Melody

    I am a military spouse,my husband has been on two deployments to Iraq. I don’t feel that I’m entitled to special treatment just because my husband is in the Army. As for discounts there is nothing wrong with asking for discounts whether it be a military discount,new customer discount,senoir discount etc., I’m just trying to save a few bucks here and there. I’m not going to throw a temper tantrum because they tell me no.

  • William

    I read a lot of comments concerning do Military Military Families Feel Entitled, and I both agree and disagree with some of them. But I can absolutely appreciate and understand everyones viewpoints and comments. I am currently on active duty military, but at one point in my life I extited the military not once, but twice, and went back to the civilian sector to work, just because I felt that I would be better off. Needless to say, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.

    Sure I made great money as a civilian, but when I factored in that I had to pay over $800.00 a month for family medical care, $102.00 a month for family dental care, and then throw our $1016.76 mortgage payment, automobile payments and etc., it was easy to see that I was better off in the military. In the military you get plenty of tangible benefits for free outside of your base pay, such as medical care, dental care, BAH, BAS, and TA. Sure you may pay a small percentage for family dental care, but it is pale in comparison to what you pay as a civilian.

  • PassingThrough

    Hello

    There is a bigger picture than military spousal entitlement going on right now and it’s crucial to think about & do something about.

    Beyond military spousal entitlement are the US military leader’s false belief that they are entitlement to our US government money. US military leaders are (I’d sincerely like to meet one that isn’t) justifying using OUR precious tax money on trumped up charges of false threats to our US nation.

    There is definitely a struggle going on between the creatives & non creatives or civilians and the US military & it’s affliates. Does anybody else here see this? For instance, our government money SHOULD be used to create solar energy & wind energy but right now it’s hijacked by the US military to maintain a hold on Middle East oil. And oil pollutes our planet!

    Thank you for reading the above words.

    Think about this comment, and kindly reply with helpful solutions to a balanced & healthier U.S.

  • Ashley

    I don’t believe as a military spouse I am entitled to anything. I would like to clarify that some people on here need to get their facts straight. Don’t go around using an argument that is completely false. Not every branch receives the same benefits and not every rank does either. Every job is also different. My husband works 12 hr days, goes to the field about once every month, has duty at least once a month. We also have to share a car I bought before were married. We had no help or support when moving across the united states. We have been harassed and told things that weren’t true and discouraged of having certain rights the military should not be involved in. Not just us but many other in his unit. Being told such things as where we have to live, how we have to as wives participate in activities they have because our husbands rank. As if we are discouraged of having jobs or a life separate from that of the military. My husband does NOT make that much at all. Look up the current rate for an e2 in the military. All of those so called benefits and such that everyone acts as if everyone receives and they don’t come with strings attached. Pardon me but last time I was told the GI bill can only be used for the wife if the service member has already served for 8 years it may be 9 but I’m trying to just give you an idea. Also for the wife to use that bill the service member also has to re enlist. …….yeah right, that is a joke right? We actually pay every month for that so it isn’t complete free. I would never expect my husband to re enlist so I could use that. Also the MYCAA is based around the spouse going to school for a job where they can follow their spouse’s military career around. Still I’m thankful it is around….for now…..Another point being that the BAS is for the service member not their family. While I’m very thankful for what I do receive as I do know life can always be much worse no matter what the situation I still want to point many of these things out to those of you who are unaware. Yes actually the discounts are meant for service members and their families because like previously stated by others the spouses do the shopping in many cases and as a married couple everything is ours not yourd and mine. That’s what being married means. So while at the end of the day I am lucky and greatful for what I have I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. Just like every other married couple everywhere different people have different struggles. So just because you aren’t going through the same as other spouses don’t act like you have walked in everyone’s shoes before you actually have. Pftttt by the way any of you putting someone down on here because you don’t agree with them should be ashamed. I’m only 22 and even I know that isn’t right. Most of you are mean hearted and should try talking to the spouses you don’t agree with. Maybe try being a little selfless and taking the time to see why they are so jaded and feeling so entitled and see if you can get them to maybe feel differently towards the situation. Use your better attitude and build other people up instead of putting them on the defensive by tearing them down. This world would be a much better place if everyone was more accepting and understanding instead of so judgemental with thinking they were better than others. At the end of the day none of you are better than one another so get over the superiority complex.

  • Roy Hobbs

    Sad to say but my small retail store has had military people come and be abusive because they felt I owed them a discount , it has been very disturbing how aggressive they can be. I appreciate what law enforcement , fire fighters and military do , but I did not force any of them to pick this type of career .
    Really seems that these some of these younger service men and women feel entitled. I experience this on a regular bases. Interesting that veterans from Vietnam and older I encounter are much more polite and humbled. I have no problem giving a discount to them. The younger group when asked how can I help you , the first thing out of there arrogant mouth is do you give a military discount.

  • tony

    first i would like to say that i respect people in the military. Although they chose their profession, nobody forced them to do this it was bc they wanted to serve and protect and i dont know how much they get paid but the people i know in the military seem to buy whatever they want. I dont know if they are just spending money to look important or they are actually making decent money. I am an RN and i save lives every day but i dont recieve a discount or free housing but i also chose this job. I think that the entitlement thing isnt just with military but police, doctors, even RN’s everyone chose their life so why should any of us get a discount. Just stop giving it and no one would have a problem. Its like when i was in 1st grade and the teacher said if u dont have enough candy for the whole class then dont even bring any!

  • FID

    Thank you for this. I actually googled this topic to gain some clarity because I am at the point of being livid when dealing with military, their families, and the sense of entitlement. I work for an airline and moved from a blue state to a red state. I have no problem with young military soldiers going off to service and possible going to war receiving free services such as free baggage. Long term people, however, going to Hawaii on vacation are now demanding, upgrades, first class seats, etc. I would say the military attracts the same percentage of hero personalities as any helping profession, but everyone in the military is not a hero. These courageous blog. Police departments were made heroes after 9/11 and the light has come that officers are also human. Hopefully the same light will come in regards to arrogant military personnel and their entitled families.