Military Families Video

I must say, I strongly disagree.  I wonder of the 3 in the military, how many are enlisted?  The last one had family or people in the area who were always willing to help out…  Wow.  Maybe I'm just angry with the military because my husband is gone too damn much, but I also hate when people say "Free Health Care."  You get "free" care if you choose to see military doctors.  If not seeing a different person each time, having to fill out a 12 page questionaire they don't read every visit, having to keep your own records because yours are constantly lost or mis-handled, etc., sure.  Go for it.  Otherwise, you go outside the system and pay.  It might sound snotty, but I know corpsmen who wouldn't let the hospital they work in treat them.  Another comment that made me mad, "What other job do you get a raise every year?"  What other job is your paycheck still stuck in the 80's and they think it's okay to make up for it 3% at a time?  Again, maybe I'm just jaded…

Hey…  Ja-ja-jaded…  Oh wait.  My bad.

Honestly, I don't think they accurately captured the spectrum of the military and how we're dealing with the struggling economy.  For instance…  We live in a state where the federal $5.25 is still minimum wage.  After 5 years in service, as an E-5, my husband makes what my best friend does.  She's got a degree.  If you take out the housing allowance, she makes more than we do.  She's struggling to support herself and there are 4 of us.  We have that "free" health care and access to the commissary, where groceries are easily 30-40% cheaper than they are even at Wally World, yet we struggle.  By struggle I mean…  Our hosue is 76 because anything cooler will destroy our budget.  We debated getting a pool because we couldn't afford to fill it, but we know we can't drive to the beach or to anyone else's pool either…  Since the house is 76, the pool would be our only relief from the heat.  We're getting a motorcycle (yes, you win DH) because we can't afford to drive even the sedan, let alone the van.  When DH drives the bike, the kids and I will have the car, but when it's crappy and freezing outside, we're back to the van while he takes the car.  The car is paid off, and we're just now to the point where we're no longer upside down on the van, so we're sure as hell not selling it now!  Besides, we could never take a trip in the car because of all of our stuff…  But then again, we're not taking a trip any time soon with gas over $4.00 per gallon now.  HA!

By struggle I mean…  I'm wondering if I could sneak to the library an hour a day to keep up with all my crap on-line and cut the innernet – the source of 75% of what little doula business I get.  Sorta' sounds like cutting my nose off to spite my face, huh?

I'm wondering if we could live in the backyard this summer if we got a pool and filled it with well water since that's free. 

I'm wondering if I should give up being a doula and take in some kids to help get ahead on some bills or just stay up with gas prices.

I'm wondering if even trips to the library for free entertainment for myself and the kids (story time, and bringing books and movies home) is too expensive because of gas…  It's less than 2 miles from the house…  And if I knew I could walk into a cool house, I'd walk, but between coming home to 76 degrees and no sidewalks the whole way as we're walking on busy streets, walking is out.

I'm wondering how my family will survive what feels like an impending depression.  I'm wondering how I will keep myself and my children from going insane, especially if I have to give up my little piece of autonomy as a doula to care for the children of others so I can continue to stay home and put gas in my husband's vehicle so he can work for the military that I feel, short changes us left and right.  I don't agree with the spouses up there.  I won't feel like we're better off as a military family until we're on an even pay scale with members of Congress.  Call me greedy, but I think we deserve at least half of what they make.