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Old 09-05-2012, 06:42 AM
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Default Military Families/Navy Wives

I feel like i am getting thrown into the deep end here. I just found out my fiance has decided to enlist, I say found out because on the night he was going to tell me his friend came over and blurted it all out. Now I am not one for change... at all and I am not really for this but in the end I will support him no matter what. Just with the way I was told my anxiety attacks have been horrendous and I have been a wreak these past few days. It wouldn't be near as bad but we have a one year old son.

So military families, Navy wives,.... anyone help? lol.

I have so many questions swarming around in my head I cant even really word them. I dont know what is going to happen and I hate that and I am scared because of that. How often is he actually going to be here? How often will he be at sea? Will he be stationed at a port in another country? Will it be one I can stay at? Will he be moving around a lot? Should we go with him if we can? Should we live on base or stay here? Do most Navy wives that are mothers work? If there kid isn't in school yet how? What do I need to know, what should he know?

I guess really what I am asking here is help me to understand what it will be like. I want to live on or near the base if he is going to be there for any amount of time but he thinks it would be best for me and my son to move back in with my mom. I can not stress enough how much I HATE not knowing! And how scared I am!.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:04 AM
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Sorry- can't answer your questions, but have a couple of suggestions-

1- Talk to his recruiter. He/She might have some answers for you.

2- Look on the Navy's website. The Air Force had an area just for new recruits, what they're families could expect, etc.

3- Look for a Facebook page. Once you know where he'll be stationed (after Basic), you can join support groups there, as well as a FB page for that station/base, provided there is one (if he ends up being stationed at Joint Base MacGuire-Dix-Lakehurts in NJ, they seem to have a great spouse/family support system).
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:35 AM
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When I was really serious about a navy guy, I found the forums at CinChouse to be helpful. I don't know if they even still exist, but they were filled with military spouses.

I'd be sitting down and having a long conversation with him about keeping secrets though. He shouldn't be making life changing decisions without your input if you two are engaged
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:24 PM
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I'm kind of in the same boat with two key differences: I've known since day 1 he wanted to join the Navy and we don't currently have children. I also have a year to get my ducks in a row.

Going through the Navy website really helped, and when he talks with a recruiter again in January I plan to find out things in greater detail.

A lot of where he will be and how long he will be gone will depend on what they have him doing. Different positions have different responsibilities.

I think sitting down with him and having a heart to heart with him and talking with someone (like the recruiter, or a support group) will help answer your questions the most.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:59 PM
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All I see in your post are the red flags that A) he did not make this decision WITH you, he made it without you and told his friend before you and B) he wants you to live with your mom and not move with him to where ever he is stationed.

I would have a serious talk with him about those things before deciding to uproot my life for him.
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Old 09-05-2012, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by zoe08 View Post
All I see in your post are the red flags that A) he did not make this decision WITH you, he made it without you and told his friend before you and B) he wants you to live with your mom and not move with him to where ever he is stationed.

I would have a serious talk with him about those things before deciding to uproot my life for him.
This! My parents both met in the military so it was a different situation but we moved a lot as children. There are a lot of resources for Military wives and children if you know where to look. You will actually have more resources if you stay near a base or deploy with him so staying with your mom is not necessarily a good idea.

That said, there is no way in hell I'd be ok if my husband just up and enlisted I would be pissed. Not to mention you have a child whose future he didn't think about. He needs to look at his priorities and if a family with you isn't as important as being in the Navy then you need to look at your priorities and see if a man who isn't planning to be around is an ideal person to include in your life.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:57 PM
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he will be in boot camp & his job school for at least the first six months. generally he is NOT supposed to have family there during those times (there are or used to be exceptions for job schools longer than 6 months). also depending on his starting paygrade he may not be able to afford a descent place to live off base while you wait for housing during which time it may be best to stay at home & save money. make sure he is getting any accelerated advancements available due to college, eagle scout etc.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:02 PM
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he will be in boot camp & his job school for at least the first six months. generally he is NOT supposed to have family there during those times (there are or used to be exceptions for job schools longer than 6 months). also depending on his starting paygrade he may not be able to afford a descent place to live off base while you wait for housing during which time it may be best to stay at home & save money. make sure he is getting any accelerated advancements available due to college, eagle scout etc.
Yeah, until he gets his first assignment the OP may not be able to join her fiance regardless of what they both want.

I still think it's time for a major discussion though. There are too many decisions being made without your input, whether you have anxiety or not. Someone who just up and joins the military without discussing it with his fiancee is not someone I'd want to be committing my life to.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:38 PM
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The Military isn't a decision to be made lightly, nor is it a decision to be made without your partner. Those are big red flags for me, and if he DECIDED without you, rather than came up with the idea without you, then there needs to be a major come to jesus discussion. That sort of thing shouldn't fly. Ever. Especially if you are thinking of joining the military of all things. I would be concerned he would ask for certain deployments, want to take orders and accept them without you to a place you can't go, make certain decisions about his job that wasn't run by you first. No, that does not fly well for spouses/partners in the military.

Now, as for your questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoLeigh View Post
How often is he actually going to be here?
For the first several weeks, he will be at Basic Training. If he is going to fail, it will be here. They crack down on everything. What you eat, when you go to bed, who you talk to, how you dress, how fast you run, etc, etc. You will be allowed to write plenty of letters, but he will not have access to a computer. He *might* get a phone call once a week (ours were on Saturdays) if he has a good behavior rep. You will get to visit him for Graduation, then he ships of to what the AF calls Tech School.

This is where he learns his job. Depending on the career field, he might be gone 3 months, he might be gone 2 years. If he doesn't have a college degree, doesn't score high on the ASFAB, he probably will only be gone 3-7 months. Those are for the lower career fields. He will have plenty access to a computer, you can skype, he can have his personal phone, you can visit if he's on good behavior on the weekends. Just like being in a college dorm. After all that...he gets stationed at his first base. How long he will be gone after that will depend highly on his job.

For most lower level career fields...it's honestly pushing paperwork or something similar. 9-5 job.

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Originally Posted by JoLeigh View Post
How often will he be at sea?
Believe it or not, but the Navy doesn't actually go out to sea very often. Same with the Air Force. We don't hit the skies all that often, either. But, again, it depends on his job.

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Originally Posted by JoLeigh View Post
Will he be stationed at a port in another country?
Possibly. He will have a Dream Sheet, and sometimes they will give you the location you want to go to. We had Italy on ours, along with a lot of western States. Well, we got Montana first, then Italy. Keep in mind, many Navy bases aren't ports at all. There's one in Memphis, TN, for example. No where near an ocean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoLeigh View Post
Will it be one I can stay at?
Most bases/ports you will be able to stay. The ones I know of that you can't are those in War Zones and Korea. But most countries you will be able to, like Germany, Italy, England, Japan. Pretty much all states you can go to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoLeigh View Post
Will he be moving around a lot?
Maybe. Some people end up getting moved every 6 months to a year. Some end up at the same base for 6 years or more. Depends on his job, and the base he gets stationed at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoLeigh View Post
Should we go with him if we can?
If you get married before he leaves, the military will ship you with him free of charge (either pay for it or reimburse you). If you are not married, you are responsible for your own travel. It's up to you if you want to go with him. Personally, I enjoy moving around and seeing the country/world.

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Originally Posted by JoLeigh View Post
Should we live on base or stay here?
Off base, it's the same as any other house, apartment, or living somewhere new. You can have your kid go to school on base or off base. Personal preference. But he will get a BAH to cover off-base expenses should that be the decision. On base - most everything is paid for. Utilities, trash, rent, everything. No bills. But he gives up his BAH. BAH is based off of the Cost of Living in each area. In our area, it is $808 per month. In California, however, it may be $1500 extra a month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoLeigh View Post
Do most Navy wives that are mothers work? If there kid isn't in school yet how?
If you want to work, you are more than free to. Some work, some don't. Depends on your way of life. As far as kids, there are plenty of resources available for your disposal at each base. Most bases are like little towns...grocery store, couple fast food places, schools, libraries, child care, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoLeigh View Post
What do I need to know, what should he know?
In order for things to go as smoothly as possible, you need to be married. The military will take care of ALL of you...if you are married, or if that is his kid. Otherwise, you will be left behind to pay for travel and everything else yourself. By marrying him, the military takes care of not only him and the kid, but you as well. And there's a ton of benefits, including "free" healthcare, they pay for your travel, the bases are huge sources of information about everything.

Now, when you get on base/port, you will probably find yourself NOT wanting to socialize on base. In my experience, most military wives are the typical spoiled brat women, sitting around reading Cosmo and discussing how they will spend the money if their spouse dies. No joke. There will be men out for your attention, women out for his. Cheating is pretty common place. Like going to highschool all over again. However, every base is different. Smaller bases will be worse, larger bases won't be so bad at all.

The Navy and the Air Force don't get deployed nearly as often as the Army or Marines. The Marines have no home bases, so they get shuffled around a lot. The Army is our infantry, so they are typically the first to deploy if a war is going on. The Navy and the Air Force are either pawned off to the Army/Marines for support, or they sit back and do the tactical side of things. For example, the Air Force is called the "Chair Force" because people think we don't do mch. But, we're the ones sitting on the nukes. LOL. Really, you have less to worry about than if he would be in the Army or Marines. Depending on what he scored on the ASVAB, the Navy isn't bad.


Anything else you want to know, just ask! We are Air Force, so not everything is exactly the same, but most of it is quite similar. And if you just want to talk to another wife going through some of the same things, just PM me!
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:49 PM
Pops2 Pops2 is offline
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Thanks Lyzelle
it's easier to correct things than to try to think of it all at once.
army (in certain job fields) & af basic allow the most access to phones during boot camp.
Navy & MC not so much, once during the first 24 hours & once about 1/2-2/3 and extra for superior performance.
the Navy DOES go to sea quite often, it's the reason for their existence and while not common it is possible for a float to get extended. for example the ARG (amphibious ready group) & MEU (Marine expiditionary unit) on it's way home from a Med float that got sent to Liberia's civil war where they waited at sea for 3 months before getting greenlighted on a NEO (noncombatant evacuation operation). their 7 month float turned into 10 months. (my Pops spent 21 years in the Navy)
because of technical demands the Navy & Coast Guard actually have the highest minimum ASVAB (armed services vocational aptitude battery) score for entry.
the navy had a program called home port, where they would go from sea duty to shore duty back to sea duty in one geographic location to minimize impact on the family. keep in mind depending on the job he could also wind up army, AF & Marine bases. when I recruited for the Marines if i had kids that scored high enough & doing a medical job was make it or break it, i'd walk them over to the navy recruiter. i knew that sooner or later i was likely to see those kids patching up my Marines.
until he is at least paygrade E-4 you're better off living on base, the property management companies around the base know your BAH to the penny & set rents accordingly. so if you live off base in any descent neighborhood, rent will take pretty much your whole BAH & you will pay utilities out of pocket.
the spouses (not all are wives) are as varied as anywhere else some are gossips, some are busybodies & some are good people doing good that will look out for you & be lifelong friends.
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