Do you think i am being Selfish? — The Bump
Military Families

Do you think i am being Selfish?

So my hubby signed on a extra 2 years in the Air Force so we could go to Andrews AFB and he could get his TS security clearance. So we officially have 3 years left on this deployment. We have been discussing if he should re enlist when his 3 years are up. He just got E-5 and said if he can get E-6 before his time is up he would like to re enlist. I am a LPN and would like to go back to school to get my RN. I am prior service myself as navy and plan on using my GI BILL and go to school part time to just get my RN not to worried about getting my BA in nursing. My husband has NO idea what he wants to do after he is out but knows he does want to do security forces/ cop in the civilian world. He loved being in the military and when his current time is up he will have 8 years in. I think with the way the job market is and him having no real interest in going to college he should just do his 20 years. I know we have years to plan but he also wants to have another child after our first due in April is 1 or 2 at the most. I just worry about financially taking care of two kids with a civilian cop and nurse. Also we really dislike living in MD and we wanted to move back to Alaska or Washington state area. And he is pretty sure he could pick his next duty station if he re enlists. I just dont wanna seem selfish..what are your thoughts on if you hubby was thinking of re enlisting? I just think he wants to be a cop may as well have job security and BAH and health coverage.
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Re: Do you think i am being Selfish?

  • I don't think you are being selfish at all. I agree with your reasoning on the job market not being so great and the security of having a paycheck, housing and health insurance. My only counter-thought would be that a lot can change in 3 years so maybe wait to make a final decision until about a year or so out. My husband is AF also, he is just going in and we aren't making any decisions as far as a career goes until he is close to re-enlistment. We just don't know where life will take us by then. Maybe just bring it up to him with a whole plan on what it might look like too. If you bring it up without any back up then he might think that you are just doing it to advance your career, not what is best for the family. Have you talked to him about it yet or are you still just thinking it over? If you have, what was his response?
  • I agree with the PP. In this economy, (whether we may always like it or not lol) the military is a great job as far as benefits and security. My husband has 10 years in and has talked about rebranching or getting out, but even with a college degree, I think he's crazy for thinking we can live as well as civilians (plus, we're from the northeast, so if we move home, cost of living is really high). I have definitely been pushing rebranching over risking it in the civilian job market, especially now that we'll have two kids. As far as your cop/nurse job options, obviously there are places you could go and do well with those choices, and then there are places where there are massive hiring freezes - just depends on the area, so really do your research if you choose that direction. We know a couple with those jobs, and she makes more in a hospital than he does as a cop, but they get by okay with one child.
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  • I would suggest that you both read this article on veterans finding civilian work (particularly in law enforcement) that was in today's Washington Post and not making any hard and fast decisions about him staying in the military for 12 more years until after you have kids and see how well they cope with the military lifestyle.

    I don't understand how his reenlistment affects your ability to get your RN, though.  You can apply to a program in Maryland fairly easily, and it shouldn't take you longer than two years to finish one considering that you're already an LPN.  Finding work is a different story, of course, but just getting the RN seems fairly straightforward based on what you've posted.

    ETA: I guess I don't see any of the options you're considering as particularly selfish, though ultimately it would be selfish to try to force him to stay in the military if he really wants to get out or vice versa.  Like I said earlier, though, this is all hypothetical since you have absolutely no idea how your family and goals will evolve over the next 12 years.

  • Looking at your options and planning the ones that work best for your family is not selfish, its INTELLIGENT. 

    But not going over your options and making the decision TOGETHER is. 

    So start pulling together all of the information on the various options you and your DH have, to include:

    1. cost of living in the areas you would like to live
    2. schools in the areas, since you want kids
    3. areas health care
    4. job opportunities (as well as the education requirements of those careers - I CAN tell you this, many municipalities are looking for cops with educations, not just experience. There are too many applicants for the very small number of jobs, so they can pick anc choose)
    5. all other sundries

    and sit down with your DH and go over them together.  Write down any questions or comments on things and then answer them to have a clear picture before you make your decision.

    For YOU, go back to school.  My Aunt did her Nurse Practitioner degree online, from a different state that the school was in.  They HAVE ways to work that out.  Not to mention, MD, DC and VA have some good nursing schools.

    I can tell you that as the dd of an Army Retiree and the wife of a soon to be AF retiree (DH has been in 26 years and has 2.8 more to go to retire at E9), doing the full 20 has too many benefits to turn down.  Between TFL and the Retirement Pay (not a pension) at retirement and all of the various educational benes (other than GI bill) while in, both of the important men in my life were extremely happy to follow through. 

    But they are not your DH or you.  You have to do what is best for your family.

  • We're kind of in the same boat. My husband has NO clue what he wants to do in the military, let alone out of the military. And he was the kind of guy who would change jobs every 6 months when he wasn't in the Army. I want him to stay in because I worry about health care and a steady job. I am starting my wedding planning business and my modeling career is on hold at the moment since I just had my son 3 months ago.

    I don't think you're selfish at all. And I definitely agree with you. 

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  • I don't think you're being selfish, it's understandable to be worried about the future, but I also don't think it's fair to push him into something he doesn't want to do.

    I don't see why you can't go back to school if that's what you want to do. A lot of places will allow you to transfer credits or you could go to school online.

    My step-mom is a nurse and my dad was a cop and he retired shortly after the baby was born to stay home with their now 1 year old. You can make it on a nurse and a cops salary, it just might not be what you're used to since you wouldn't have that extra housing pay and all.

     Good luck with whatever y'all decide! 

    Edit to add: You said that you're prior navy yourself. If you're that worried about losing housing and health benefits and he isn't happy staying in, would you be willing to re-enlist and go to school while you're in? I'm not sure if that's feasible, I don't really know how that works after you get out, I just thought I'd mention it. 

  • I totally understand you! I am also  LPN. My husband as 2 children from a previous marriage and we are talking about trying to have our first child together. My husband has 2 years left here and then he will have 11 years in. I want him to stay in. I have been looking for a job for 6 months. I left a great job when we got married to move to be with him. I had to apply for a new license and everything. It was very costly. I have my husbands GI bill and I hope I can find a school to go to get my RN. The extra income that I had certainly did help us with the other two kids, and now that I don't have a job, it's hard. He talks about getting out in 2 years and as much as I want to go home, the job security he has now and the health insurance, well it's worth it just to stay in.
  • My husband will be re-enlisting in a few months.  That enlistment will take him up to his 20 years at which point he plans to retire.  To retire at 20 was his plan long before he even met me and it is one that I completely support. 

    DH is home tonight and he votes for your H to re-enlist.  Actually when I asked if he should get out or stay in he said "stay in" in a tone that definately included a bit of "duh" in it.  Smile

  • I don't think your being selfish.

    But I just wanted to give you some insight into the washington state area. 

    We just PCS'd from there. Now that its Joint Base Lewis McChord. I'm not so sure how easy it would be to get into the security forces now. 

    Because the Army has control over both bases, I'm sure it will be a lot different. I just don't want him to get his hopes up that he'll get there for sure. 

    Plus the off base living is really poor in my opinion. My husband is an RN and looked for a civilian job up there just in case he wanted to get out. And he didn't get any bites. 

    I know nothing about the Alaska area. but as far as the Washington goes, I just think he really needs to weigh the choices before you guys decide. 

    If you have any questions about the area. let me know. 

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  • My husband is enlisted Navy and made E-6 last year.  I just got my teaching certification, but right now I am only working part time at an after-school program so I can be home with LO for most of the day.  He is also one that doesn't know what he wants to do when he gets out.  Some days he wants to be a park ranger, other days he thinks about going back to the Midwest to farm.  He has been in for 9 years now and will be doing 20 years.  Can't beat the health insurance!
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  • We were in the same boat a few months ago. My DH will be at 10 years in 2012, and has made the choice to leave active duty. In this economy everyone thinks we are crazy. The main motivators for him getting out are not wanting to move anymore. We moved six times in eight years and I am ready to get my career going rather than just getting going in a job only to have to move again. Next I don't want DD to ever have to experience all the broken promises I have when DH was suppose to do or be there for me only for him to get called away for duty. I guess in our situation if there is a will there is a way. We have been saving for the last two years, I have a  job with full benefits, and we live really simple. If he is set on getting out and it will make him happy for the right reasons you can make it happen.
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