An Army Wife's Life

Once upon a time I was a college student, then I was a teacher, and now I'm a mother. Technically, I'm currently a freelance writer... but really I am an ARMY WIFE. Expect to find... funny (at least to me) anecdotes, thoughts about la vida military, hopes, anxieties, dreams, commentaries on current events.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Compensation for the Sacrifices We Make

At one of our FRG steering meetings, another FRG leader expressed frustration with a wife who was insisting that someone come mow her lawn.

"If her husband were here, he'd do it," the wife argued.

Since he was not here because he was defending the country, the government should do it (or pay for it).

A bit nutty--but I can empathize. Being pregnant, I should probably not mow the lawn, either, and I just found out that the lawn care service we use raised their prices by over 30% this year.

When a member of the household is not available, all sorts of time, energy, and money must be spent to make up for the chores they normally complete.

However, the military does actually pay for these sorts of things, after a fashion. It is called Family Separation Allowance.

Not to mention the Per Diem that recognizes the additional costs the soldier pays being away from home, the Hardship Pay acknowledges that some assignments are particularly undesireable, and the Hostile Fire Pay gives a bit more for zones where troops face fire.

Of course, some of these could be a bit higher to reflect the reality of the financial costs and emotional burdens and no amount of money makes up for not having your loved one around.

However, The decision to join the military was one my husband (and hers, and all the other men in the Battalion) made freely...knowing full well that deployment was likely.

Ultimately, enlistment is a free choice and the government does recognize the burden deployment places on the families. The system is not perfect, but I would say it is fair.

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