7 Totally Untrue Stereotypes About Military Families
Today is Veteran’s Day, and while you’ll see ten thousand posts on Facebook today from people thanking our veterans and their families, many really don’t know what it’s like to grow up within the military community.
I was talking to a friend of mine a few weeks ago about my childhood, and she said with almost a disgusted look on her face that she couldn’t imagine growing up with a parent in the military.
I was blown away, not because she couldn’t imagine it, but because it seemed so awful to her.
My childhood wasn’t exactly perfect, but because of having my father in the military, I experienced things that many probably won’t in their entire lives. I moved seven times before even starting middle school, and I lived in South Korea for a year. All of this happened while my dad would deploy anywhere for two months to eight months at a time.
This wasn’t the first time I have had to explain some of the misunderstandings about military life, so here are some of those mostly untrue stereotypes explained.
1. All of the military wives are stay-at-home moms and are into traditional gender roles.
Just because our family members are overseas does not give us an excuse to slack off. Most military wives have a job too, whether they have a career as a teacher or a Mary-Kay saleswoman. Granted, most of the jobs military wives have to require more flexibility than most because we are constantly moving.
2. We’re ignorant because why would anyone want to be in the military willingly?
The military offers an alternative to the workforce and carries with it some benefits. They will pay for your schooling basically as far as you want to go, you get to travel around the world and you are offered some of the best healthcare in the nation. Raising a family while in the military also extends those benefits to your kids.
Plus we get half-price Chipotle on Veterans Day, which is pretty solid.
3. Obviously we are pro-war.
No we aren’t! That’s like saying we want to send our loved ones to dangerous parts of the world and risk their lives. I would rather live in a world with no wars because I hate violence, but that’s unrealistic.
4. We’re conservative AF.
Not true in the least. Yes, the Republican party is the one that many associate with the voice of the military community, but the Democrats are just as supporting. Like any community that has diversity within its ranks, we’re all unique and bring those perspectives to the table.
5. We have no friends because we’re always moving.
The exact opposite is actually true. I have friends in every corner of the world. My Facebook feed is full of people who I haven’t seen in years, but when we do get together, it’s like no time has passed.
I will say though, it’s really hard being the new girl at any school. I was always apprehensive about walking blindly into a new school, in a new place. But to put a positive spin on this, I became really good at reinventing myself. New school, new me.
6. We’re the most patriotic U.S. citizens.
Okay, some of us might make the list as the most patriotic, but my dad always used to tell me that our country and government are not perfect by any means. The war movies that you have probably all seen, like “American Sniper” and “Black Hawk Down,” are all great examples of this nationalist exaggeration. They are movies for a reason.
7. We’re all pro-gun.
My mom literally told my dad to get rid of all his guns before they had kids, and he did so because, duh, guns are dangerous as fuck especially around children. My dad was never a gun-crazed asshole like many military men are depicted to be, and that goes for so many other of our service men and women.