21 Things Only MilSo’s Understand

21 things featured

As every military spouse knows, the “military” part of your life doesn’t just affect your service member. It affects your whole life, too.

And these 21 ways sum it up… completely.

1. Because somehow “going to the grocery store” isn’t what it used to be. As a military spouse, you know,  commissary time means mentally preparing yourself for a line so long it rivals Santa’s.

Photo by U.S. Marine Corps

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

What? The line goes all the way back to dairy? Noooo… that doesn’t EVER happen.

2. Especially on payday. It’s always a breeze to go to the commissary then.

Photo by Osbornb used under Creative Commons lincense

Photo by Osbornb used under Creative Commons license

Don’t even think about parking.

3. But obviously that’s when you’re fighting all this traffic just to realize you lost your ID.

Photo by Jan Tik used under Creative Commons license

Photo by Jan Tik used under Creative Commons license

4. So you have to get a new one. Because trying to get two toddlers to behave themselves while waiting in this line is SO EASY.

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps.

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

5. It makes dealing with Tricare look fun. Which is good, really, because SOMETHING needed to make Tricare look fun. On the bright side, at least there’s decent maternity care? I mean, that is if you don’t count those breast pumps you don’t get. Or any help finding a doula who might lending a helping hand if you’re delivering alone. Or any other non-standard birth plan besides delivering in a hallway because every single delivery room is full.

Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force

Ohhhhh but cute little military baby! (There is NOTHING CUTER than a man in uniform holding a new baby. NOTHING.)

6. But back to the good part… At least there IS Tricare maternity coverage. Because everyone knows all we ever do is have babies.

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

Oh, my bad. Wrong image. I meant:

Image by William Warby used under Creative Commons license

Image by William Warby used under Creative Commons license

7. “Dependa.”

Because really, with all that free time you have, obviously the only things you ever have to do are eat, make babies, and wait for another hazard pay to come down the line.

8. It’s not like you’re busy doing this.

Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

9. Or this.

Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps

10. Or this.

Photo courtesy U.S. Army

Photo courtesy U.S. Army

12. Or making these.

Photo courtesy U.S. Army

Photo courtesy U.S. Army

13. I mean, you’re definitely not doing this.

Photo by CollegeDegrees360 under Creative Commons License

Photo by CollegeDegrees360 under Creative Commons license

Military spouses aren’t educated! And we certainly NEVER manage to hold down jobs of our own… <cough, cough, eye roll>

14. But really, when you’re not wrangling your way through a PCS, TDY, deployment, or whatever else the military throws at you, while managing family life as the Must Have Parent, or the long-distance spouse, girlfriend, or partner, it’s almost impossible not to put your own life on hold – even if it is just for a little while.

Which is fine, all things considered, because you’re probably used to it. You’re used to having to change around dates and roll with it.

15. You know how to do this because you had to deal with it when it came to setting a date for your own wedding.

Photo courtesy U.S. Army

Photo courtesy U.S. Army

16. If you even got to have one.

Photo courtesy U.S. Army

Photo courtesy U.S. Army

… Lucky.

17. And don’t get us started on the honeymoon… what honeymoon? Wait, what? Civilians can actually plan and schedule trips that have nothing to do with moving across country or reuniting after a year apart?

Photo by Natesh Ramasamy used under Creative Commons license

Photo by Natesh Ramasamy used under Creative Commons license

I can’t imagine this. I have no honeymoon to remember.

18. But we get to travel too. And when we finally do, it’s to someplace super charming. Like a roadside inn on a PCS.

Photo by Aliya used under Creative Commons license

Photo by Aliya used under Creative Commons license

Nothing says romance like highway noise.

19. Or maybe you actually GOT to schedule something, a real vacation. Most likely it’s now something for your kids, in gratitude for putting up with all the deployments and missed birthdays and military life drama. So you take them someplace cool… like Disney.

Where obviously, you stay here.

Photo courtesy U.S. Army

Photo courtesy U.S. Army

20. But don’t worry, at least you’ve got one thing on Cinderella:

Photo courtesy U.S. Army

Photo courtesy U.S. Army


21. Who are we kidding? Really, we’ve got two things on her: We’ve got Prince Charming, too.

Photo via U.S. Army

Photo via U.S. Army

(But not Princess Charming. If your spouse is a female service member, let’s be realistic. She’s probably a lot more like Wonder Woman.)

Ahh… the joys of military life. #mostofthetime

About the Author

Raleigh Duttweiler
Raleigh Duttweiler is a writer and social media expert living just outside the gates of MacDill in sunny Saint Petersburg, Florida. A Marine Corps wife, she has navigated the stress of Active Duty moves, trainings, and deployments, and now that her family has transitioned to the Reserves, she's experiencing the "weekend warrior" side of military life. (NB: It's not quite as part-time as advertised.) When not writing about benefits and military families, Raleigh posts here about truly life-altering, important issues like What Not to Wear to a Military Ball (visible thongs), Military Halloween Costumes We Love to Hate (ones that generally resemble both military uniforms AND thongs), and how to pack awesome care packages. She is passionate about spouse employment, higher education, and helping families navigate the often-bumpy transition back into civilian life. Raleigh also manages the SpouseBUZZ and Military.com Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages, so be sure to say hi!
  • Christina

    This was perfect. I don’t think I have laughed this hard and cried in the same 2 minutes. Thanks.

    • Namike

      Same! LOL

  • guest

    Try dealing with civilian health insurance before you complain about Tricare….that statement alone made you sound like a dependa

    • Amy_Bushatz

      We have dealt with civilian insurance. And it also sucked. The bureaucracy of Tricare makes it suck more.

      • guest

        Then I invite you to fight my civilian insurance company over the 3 year old….30 dollar hospital bill that went to collections because the hospital had ALL of the information incorrect (SS number, address, phone number, name) so therefore I never got the notices. Took me a year to get it off my credit report, the insurance company, nor the hospital wanted to admit wrong doing and I LITERALLY have an entire file cabinet of correspondence with Blue Cross over it.

        Oh, or you can deal with them when they tell you that your biopsy isn’t covered because I had a “pre existing condition” somehow anemia means you were pre existing for potential cancer too….oh, you can also have my 100 dollar a visit copays to my physical therapist and gynocologist on top of the 300 dollar a month premium payment (that’s just for myself)

        Seriously, if you haven’t had civilian insurance in the past 5 years, and haven’t had something go wrong…you have NO idea how good we have it with Tricare. Which, by the way, if you don’t like it, you can purchase private health insurance now for a fee.

        • Shosh

          It’s called an EOB. Read it and know what you owe. :)

          • guest

            Yea that only works when the EOB is sent to the correct address. Oh and the EOB, in civilian insurance, is NOT a bill and usually reflects a much higher amount then is actually owed.

    • agrwife(retired)

      Been there, done that. Civilian health insurance can be a pita to deal with. We had it before hubs went AGR. Employers and unions change policies without telling the workers down the pike. It was particularly wonderful to deal with when, in pre-term labor, the clerk came to me and told me I didn’t have insurance anymore. Civilians don’t have an easier time with healthcare coverage–But it isn’t worse either. Tri-toget-Care doesn’t like to allow people to see the specialists that actually treat their conditions. I think the whole healthcare coverage sucks whether you have civilian or military. It gets worse when you are a retiree-dependent.

      • RacerJim

        It gets even worse when you are a widowed spouse of a career military person…even though the deceased career military person was a highly-decorated 37-year WWII, Korea and Vietnam Veteran whose 100% disability and eventual death were both 100% service connected.

  • Namike

    You’re missing # 11!!!!

  • Jess

    Cute! Although, coming from decades of really lousy civilian insurance, and requiring a major surgery within my first six months of being on Tricare, I have NO complaints about Tricare. Had my medical situation come up a year earlier, I’d be bankrupt.

  • Sarah

    I am going to “third” stop complaining about Tricare and leading people to believe it’s bad. There is bureaucracy in everything including civilian insurance. Tricare is amazing and we are all blessed to have it and it certainly doesn’t “suck more” than civilian insurance which requires a heck of a LOT of out of pocket money.

  • Male Spouse

    This isn’t at all stereotypical, obviously all military spouses (please don’t continue to use MilSo-aren’t there enough acronyms?) are all females. Even the photos used was male-military, female-nonmilitary spouse. Get with the times…

    • Penny

      MilSo came about due to the fact there are husbands married to women in the military. We are all significant others, At least she did mention that in 21 If your spouse is a female service member, let’s be realistic. She’s probably a lot more like Wonder Woman. I do agree she could have put a few photos in there of a dad holding a baby, or shopping in the commissary with the children. I see it all the time and I applaud you for standing by your wife

    • jacey_eckhart

      Hey Male Spouse–you also need to know that it is really hard to find pictures we can use. And pictures of male spouses with their kids are gold. Please send us pictures of you with your wife in uniform and kids. We would love to put you in our pages!

  • Mary

    In 1951 when my husband asked me to marry him. He tried to explain to me what it would be like as a Marines Wife for 20 years of active duty. I thought nothing could be that bad.
    Well I was wrong.
    We married on a Friday night. He left on Maneuvers Monday A M for 6 weeks. Got back we had one month and they sent him to Porto Rico 6 months Maneuvers. Brought him home for 30 days leave and sent him to Korea for a year.. Every one said our marriage would never last.
    To make a long story short. We were married 2 years had a baby a year old and had not lived to gather a total of 6 months. Our marriage only lasted 55 years. He passed in 2005. Miracles still

  • Mary Lawlor

    Great list, very funny. I wrote about my mother’s experience as a military spouse in FIGHTER PILOT’S DAUGHTER, in honor of all she went through as the manager of an ever-moving household.

  • Michael H

    Great! even for us Military husbands, and yes she is Wonder Woman and Xena in one !

  • petra09

    Raleigh, funny and quite charming. To all the disgruntled comments, I wished my husband would still be alive so just for a moment be thankful and enjoy the writing for what it is.

  • Dorothy R

    And don’t forget, we all have to know the service members’ Service Number or SSN to be eligible for these benefits! Also, PCSing overseas means getting a family member passport. After all the hassle of getting, and keeping, the kiddies cleaned up and picture worthy, then the bureaucracy loses the paperwork so it three months AFTER moving out of your last home, before you can even travel, not to mention living in the military inn BEFORE moving in to your new home! But Tricare For Life is GREAT! In combination with Medicare you usually don’t owe anybody anything! AND you saw foreign places without paying out the wazoo.

  • MGA

    It’s a good life, even with hardships. It was great to meet my sisters in arms, so to speak. I absolutely hate the term dependa. Brought about by bitter people looking to out women down. Anyway, my soldier retired after twenty. I was there for every day, Even boot camp. Divorced a year later. He couldn’t handle the life at the end and I had to help pick up those pieces too. I’m proud of ME. I did the baked sales, the moves, the clearing quarters, the gift bags, boxes, fundraisers, jobs, volunteer assignments, miscarrying in the hallway of the hospital and all the rest. and I’m proud of my kids and their resilience. No dependas here.

  • T

    I just wanted to add, with all the others who said so, that Tricare is amazing. After having dealt with civilian insurance, I would much rather have Tricare any day. Yes, it has problems, but compared to any civilian insurance, Tricare is way better.

  • old Corps Wife

    While I understand the change from “dependent wife” to “military spouse”, but to cheapen it to “MilSo” is just rude and demeaning. We are not ‘Bennifer’ or ‘Brangalina’. We are strong, resilient, proud Military Spouses. Dont cheapen it to sound ‘cool’

  • sheridegrom – From the literary and legislative trenches.

    Raleigh – This is a wonderful posting by a military spouse who’s obviously been there and done that and who continues to have a healthy and happy heart.