Dear Ms. Vicki,
I had a relationship with an active-duty soldier. We met in 2010 and I got pregnant. We lived together until he left for Afghanistan. When he was there, my baby girl was born. So because we weren’t married (he didn’t want to get married) my daughter does not have his last name.
I found out few months later after he left for Afghanistan the real reason why he doesn’t want to get married. It’s because he was married already. He had told me he was divorced but that wasn’t the truth. They were separated but not divorced. Now we are having problems because after I found out, I don’t want to be with him. But he says if we aren’t together, he won’t pay me child support or sign the paternity papers.Will the Army help me with this situation?
Dear Unmarried Mom,
Thank you for writing me with this important question. First of all, continue to take care of yourself and your daughter. I’m sure she is a very beautiful and deserves to have two emotionally healthy parents who are very vested in her well-being.
If she only has you, then you will have to be the best mother you can be. You both deserve the best. Now to answer your question: I know many men who are not married to the mother of their children, but they sign the birth certificates and give the child their last name. He didn’t want to because he was married. I really regret this happened.
You can get his unit involved if you know the unit he is assigned to. If he is deployed, they still have commanders in the “rear” who deal with these concerns. You should also get your state child support involved too. Let me know what happens. I wish you and your daughter all the best.
Dear Ms. Vicki,
I am an Army widow. I receive my husband’s social security widower’s benefits. I am age 61. I need to know if I would be eligible to get commissary and PX priviliges at our local base. I do not know how to check on this issue.
Tthis is a great question. If you still have your military ID card, you should be able to shop at the commissary or PX. If you do not have the ID card, it’s probably because you no longer qualify for the entitlement. You can contact DEERS at (800) 538-9552. They will be able to answer your question more fully. Take care of yourself and thank you for writing me.
Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.
Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.