And yet those little misconceptions can drive us real-life military folks batty. If only all military housing was that picturesque. If only our lives were so seamlessly dramatic and romantic.
Lifetime TV's Lifetime Moms asked attendees at Military.com's Spouse Summit what they think is the biggest misconception about military life -- and we asked our Facebook fans. Here is what you said. Make sure you also check out the Lifetime video below!
The top 10 misconceptions about military life
1. All military spouses cheat on their servicemembers. SpouseBuzz Facebook fan Raven said this bothers her because, even though the cheaters are actually few and far between, “they get the most attention.”
2. We have wealthy, “lavish” lifestyles. When a reporter early this year characterized the military livestyle as “lavish” thanks to what he saw as our more than generous benefits, the spouse blogosphere blew up. Fan Hannah still hasn’t forgotten it, labeling that “lavish” factor as the biggest misconception.
3. All military families are miserable. Fan Kelli said this is the biggest misconception -- and it’s one we see all the time here at SpouseBuzz from publications and TV producers on the hunt for a good military sob story. Those are hard for us to drum up for them. Why? Because the reality is that most of us are pretty darn happy.
4. Everyone in the military carries a gun and shoots people. While plenty of servicemembers are on the front lines, not all of them are. Fans Emily and Melissa K. highlighted this one for us. “As a substitute teacher I was shocked when I told a room of 4th graders that my husband was in the military their questions were, ‘Do you cheat on your husband when he's gone?’ And ‘How many people has he shot when he was at war?’ Melissa K. wrote. “My answers were ‘NO!’ And ‘Zero!’”
5. All military spouses are lazy. Several Facebook fans said versions of this statement is the biggest misconception about military life. British military spouse Camille said the word “dependent” is what really gets her. “Yuk, yuk, yuk absolutely loath this term, I depend on my only,” she said.
6. Everything in the military free! Free houses. Free groceries. Several military spouses told us civilians they encounter think that the military gives us everything for free. If only!
7. We knew what we were getting into before we married into the military. Some of the fans who commented said this one bothers them because they couldn't have possible known -- they got married before their spouse joined-up. Some said there’s no way to know ahead of time. “There is no way to know the situation until you’ve lived it!!!” Rachel said.
8. Everyone in the Air Force flies. “When I tell people my husband is in the Air Force, they tell me how cool it is that he flies planes,” Tonya said. “His feet don't leave the ground unless he's flying to deployment ... as a passenger!”
9. Military members work normal hours. Rachel said the misconception that her husband’s job is a Monday thru Friday, normal hours deal is the biggest one to her. “I know there are certain military assignments that do have those hours, but most do not,” she said. “Yes, his job choice to be career military and my choice to leave behind my career every so many years ARE choices, but it entails a great much more than that. It is more of a ministry and a commitment to a greater cause than just life choices.”
10. Saying “goodbye” gets easier. Oh, how I wish this were true. But we all know it’s not. “I hate when people say things like ‘Oh, well you're probably used to him being gone by now, so it's not as hard on you as it would be on other people.’ It never gets easier,” said Laura.
What do you think are the biggest misconception about military life?