Military Life 101

Military Life Archive

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What I've Learned While Editing Ms. Vicki

Stock image

You've read the Ms. Vicki column, right? Letters from the lovelorn, he-did-me-wrong missives, base housing drama -- any of that ring a bell? A couple of years ago, I emailed the spouse editor to ask if Ms. Vicki was a real person because I'd seen so many letters about cheating and I thought someone had to be making them up. Guess what? They're real. In fact, I've been editing the Ms. Vicki column for for the past ye... more

Are There Any Military Spouse Retirement Benefits?

Mrs. Hyun Crites, wife of Chief Master Sgt. James Crites, 9th Operations Group superintendent (right), is presented the Military Spouse Medal during her husband’s retirement ceremony. (Photo: U.S. Air Force photo /Senior Airman Bobby Cummings.)

Military retirement often marks the end of a long road. As a military spouse, you've put in months of waiting on your service member to come home from long trainings or deployment, all while holding down your home and taking care of your family. You've battled career challenges for yourself, planning disasters, cross-country moves and everything Murphy's Law could throw at you. But other than the long-sought break from the challenges of mili... more

Real Military Spouse Transition: Out after Four Years

The Specht family. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Specht)

Jenny Specht's husband, Nick, joined the Army just before his 19th birthday.  High school sweethearts, Jenny moved to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, to be with him. But just six months after their wedding, Nick deployed to Iraq on what was supposed to be the last of the deployments to that country, and Jenny moved home to Minnesota to work on her college degree. When Nick returned from Iraq, he chose to leave the active-duty Arm... more

Real Spouse Transition: They Stayed at Their Duty Station

Julie Provost and her husband. Photo courtesy of Julie Provost

Julie Provost is known in the military spouse community as the brains behind Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a popular blog site. A military family for about nine years with three boys, her husband left active duty while stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. But rather move home or away from Fort Campbell, the family decided to stay put while her husband joined a local National Guard unit and took a job as a truck driver. The family went thr... more

Four Military Retirement Pay Surprises for Families

Chief Mass Communications Specialist Peter D. Lawlor/Navy

If you've reached the end of your service member's military career, you're probably really excited. No more TDYs, military moves, long training separations or sudden deployments for you. Instead, you're looking forward to enjoying all of those benefits, like continued health care and retirement pay, that you've spent 20 years earning. Life is about to get very good. But military retirement pay and the benefits that come along with it can be ... more

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