Joining the Military / Pros / Cons / Help! — The Bump
Military Families

Joining the Military / Pros / Cons / Help!

I guess I am writing for advice from others who may have gone through something similiar being in a Military family, maybe someone with an unbiased opinion.

My husband has been seriously looking into joining the Army for about a month now. He has spoken to a recruiter, looked up bases, jobs, and taken the practice ASVAB. During this time we did not discuss with our families. I saw both pros and cons but ultimately was supporting my H in something that he really longs to do.

I told my parents and to say the least they are not thrilled. We have a baby and they feel it would not be best for her or I to be away from family, alone when or if H gets deployed, etc. I am now feeling very guilty. Also sidenote, we are trying to sell our home which may be another set back if we can't.

 Were your families supportive? Did you back up your H and go anyways? Side note: H has not told his parents for fear of guilt, etc, just until we have made a final decision. Did you regret your H joining?

Thanks for any feedback.

Re: Joining the Military / Pros / Cons / Help!

  • I understand exactly how you are feeling. I grew up in a navy family my father was on p3s for 20 years and as a child it was hard for my dad to be gone on 6 to 9 month deployments. We had to move a few times and say goodbye to friends which is sad but its the military lifestyle. You never say goodbye you always say see you later in the Navy Community. Now that I'm older, i feel extremely proud to have a dad who dedicated his life to serving our country to defend my family's freedom. With that said, when i went to college i always said i would never end up with a man who was in the service because i didn't want our future kids to grow up moving all of the time. BUT thats not how life works and you cant help who you fall in love with. My husband is a Pilot in the Navy who is getting out of the service next year to pursue our business full time. We have a one year old, a baby boy on the way and a large dog. My role in life went from being a navy brat to being a navy spouse so i see both hardships. But its worth it. The moving is worth it it will make your future children adaptable. You will meet life long friends who you will stay in contact with even though you will have moved. You will get to live all over the world and grt to see things you may never have the chance to see otherwise. And ultimately your letting your husband pursue a lifelong dream of his to join to protect our country. Even if he joins and lets say its not working out for you and your family, he can always get out of the service. Now in regards to your parents, i see where they are coming from with their grandchild but maybe they are saying all of this because they just will ultimately miss you and are bing selfish and dont want you guys to go? My parents live 3,000 miles away and miss their grandchild so much but know its a sacrifice of being in the Navy because they lived it. I say don't worry about them worry about whats best for you and your family! Good luck and I can give you my email if you need any advice on anything! Take care and good luck!
  • DH and I joint enlisted.  Neither of our parents were supportive at first; they couldn't understand why we would decide to do it.  The thing is, it's a choice you guys are making for your family, and like any choice it requires adaptation.  FWIW, after having a kid when DH deployed I moved back home for the duration (I had already separated).  It is what you make of it.
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  • You and your hubby need to make this decision independent of your parents.  Of course your parents aren't going to want you to move away from home, but their opinion doesn't matter here.  It's not their marriage, their child, or their career.  You're a married adult.  That umbilical cord has (or should have been) cut by now.  Of course you should support your husband and go with him if the TWO OF YOU decide this is the best decision for your family.
  • DH was already in when we got married. When we started dating, I had to decide whether or not this is the life I wanted. I know there are family members who would have preferred that I stay in my hometown, but they never said such to my face. I'm an adult, and I make my own decisions. There's always guilt when I can't be there for things, but they never try to guilt me about it, and I remind myself that this is the life I chose.

    DH's family also wish he was closer, but it's the same - it was his choice to make.

    As far as having a baby, yes it's hard when you don't have family around, but the military becomes an extended family. You grow and stretch yourself to build relationships every time you move. Sometimes it's harder than others. I have grown immensely as a person by having to do things on my own.

    You have to make the choices that are right for your little family, not for your entire extended family. Guilt is a feeling that you allow yourself to feel, not that other people make you feel. There are many times when I have to remind myself that this is the life I chose, fully knowing that I would miss Christmas gatherings, family visits and traditions, weddings, spending time with my extended family. It's hard, but it was my choice - and in your case, it would be the choice that you and your husband make together, and you need to be sure about what it means and what you will give up (and gain).

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  • oops34oops34 member

    DH joined when our oldest son was 4 months old. His family was very supportive, mine was not. I wasn't thrilled either, but it was his life dream, and I didn't want to take that away from him. He has now been in two years, and I will say that there are some great benefits, and he really loves it. That being said, I regret it for me personally. I don't handle his being gone well, and neither do my kids. If I had it to do over, I probably wouldn't have gone for it. The timing was just bad. I say this now, but dh has been gone a lot over the past year or so for training and such. I may feel differently at some point. Everyone handles it differently, and I tend to think I'm among the worst. If you can handle it well, the benefits and honor of it all is probably worth it. GL

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  • This is a decision you have to make as a family because it will affect you as much as him. Do not go along with it unless it's something you feel strongly about too because you will regret it and blame him when you don't like the lifestyle. Talk to as many people as you can you are/have been in the service to get an accurate picture of what life will be like. Do not take the recruiter's word for it, it's their job to sell the lifestyle. We decided not to include our parents in our decision because we knew they would be bias. They were very sad when we told them and DH family took it the worst. That was hard on both of us but we expected it. We've been in 2 1/2 years now and there have been good and bad parts like any job/lifestyle. We've loved moving around but having a baby far from family has been tough. I feel like it's brought DH and me closer. Especially after him being gone almost the whole first year that was toughest. Good luck!

  • I've been with my hubby for nearly 8 yrs and only in the past 2 months moved in to army housing. I suspended my job as I knew it was bet for our family we have a one year old and we are expecting in December. My mum hasn't been supportive and made me feel soo guilty but it was a decision we made to be a family. As up to that point I would only see Hubby at weekends which just wasn't working for our family. Ultimately it is your decision as a family what your parents think shouldn't have any baring on what you decide to do. You need to be happy with the decision. It's a massive decision but I have never once regretted moving away. Love is all that is important and if your families can't see that then THEY need to deal with it and you need to be strong. I'm not saying I don't miss my mum but my sister and brothers all manage to stay in touch with technology now you can still see each other however many miles are between you. I hope you get to a resolution soon. :
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