Aside from marrying the love of her life, what is today’s military girlfriend most looking forward to about becoming a spouse? There is a plethora of answers. Though health and life insurance rank high on the list! The women I surveyed for this article range in age from 16 and 36. They come from varying walks of life with one common bond-they love a military man.
Not surprisingly, but unfortunately, a good portion of these women feel they are not always taken seriously as they are not yet wives. That’s pretty amazing, given that most of today’s military spouses were once in their shoes. There are some military wives may have met and married their spouse before they joined the Armed Forces; however, that’s not the case for every relationship.
These women, even the younger ones, have their own wisdom and grace when it comes to dealing with their situations. Jessica Bateman, a 21 year old from Florida, asserts that the distance between military couples can be hard. When it comes to her and her boyfriend, she says “Ã¢Â?Â¦I always tell myself that this is temporary.” She also agreed, as many of the other women said, that staying positive is key to any relationship-military or not. Bateman and her boyfriend, a member of the Coast Guard, have been a couple for nearly 3 years.
Emily Chambers, 21, an Army girlfriend addressed the issue of how difficult it can be as a girlfriend of a deployed soldier. “Some FRGs [Family Readiness Groups] won’t even let you be put on the list to get updates, you can’t get on base without a passÃ¢Â?Â¦”.Army veteran, 29 year old Nicole Gossman, echoes this sentiment. Gossman feels that “Ã¢Â?Â¦ girlfriends/fiancÃ?Â©es should be afforded the same rights as parents when finding out information on their SOs [significant others] while in training. If the service member lists them as a point of contact then the FRG should honor that.” Gossman’s boyfriend serves on active duty in the Army. They have been a couple for a little over two years now.
What about these women? Do they have a voice or even deserve one. Technically, they are simply just an accessory to their significant other. They are not beneficiaries of anything per se and cannot even join some military spouse organizations. While many of us feel for these ladies and can relate to their feeling of isolation from the military world, there is not much that can really be done to change traditions or even alter what benefits people can get. Of course, that’s a good thing because if organizations were to start allowing girlfriends and boyfriends of military members certain benefits, suddenly every one might claim to have a significant other in the military.
Still, they band together in smaller groups. On the web, there is a myriad of military support forums allowing girlfriends to join and network. Some forums are even girlfriend/fiancÃ?Â© generated and composed entirely of the same. This is great and exhibits what a spirit of camaraderie. If I were to list the number of websites out there hosting these groups, I would go on for pages and pages. It’s truly amazing.
All in all, these women seem to be taking care of each other and biding their time as positively as they can. While they may not always get the ‘respect’ they feel they deserve, they are making a name for themselves as women with a mission. Hopefully, that will at least get them on call lists and involved with some Family Readiness Groups. Ultimately, the fact that these sites and groups exist is a testament to how proud these people are of their military sweethearts. One day, when these women marry their military men, if they do, they will see that with becoming a spouse comes a lot of responsibility. Still, that’s another subject entirely.