The military community encompasses a very small percent of the entire United States population. That includes everyone that has ever served and their family members too. As a result, the civilian population might not be as privy to military culture and they may have some misconceptions about military families.
If you happen to be a civilian strolling around this part of the Internet, welcome! I’m glad you came and hope you have a chance to learn a little more about the military community because there are a few misconceptions that I hope to straighten out. I’m hoping I can stomp out any of your misconceptions and shed some light to what the military community really is like.
Here are 6 things that the general population needs to know about military families.
We get along with practically everyone.
I’ve heard around that military members tend to discriminate, but I think it’s a pretty big misconception. The military puts together all kinds of people from all different kinds of backgrounds to be brothers and sisters in arms. Despite the conflicts and challenges that our service members endure, they are very loyal to each other and their community. I believe this loyalty extends to everyone in their communities, military or not.
We aren’t nuts.
Military families tend to be patriotic because of the pride we have for our service members. I consider my husband my hero and I’m sure I speak for thousands of other military spouses when I say that. But, sometimes, our patriotic nature might be taken out of proportion and become another misconception. Just because I’m so proud of all the sacrifices that all our military members endure doesn’t mean I’m pro-war, if you know what I mean!
We don’t always live on base or post.
It is safe to say that a lot of us live inside an installation or in on-base/post housing, due to convenience and sometimes cost of living, but it isn’t for everyone. The misconception is that ALL military families keep to themselves and live away from the civilian population. On the contrary, there are a lot of military families living in civilian neighborhoods with lots of spouses working in civilian communities too.
We value our community on and off base or post.
Another misconception is that we tend to be loyal just to the military installation or military community. It happens that we relate to other military families because of the circumstances that we face, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t appreciate the community around us. I live off-post with my husband and have embraced the town we live in and take part by shopping locally and engaging in the community.
We are SO thankful for everything.
The misconception of military families being rich, needy or demanding is something I see from some mainstream media outlets. There are stories out there that we benefit a great deal financially from the military and other discounts…uh, I don’t even know where to begin with that. First thing, that misconception is the one I hope civilians understand as wrong. Facts and figures have been misconstrued and calculated in unusual ways to make it seem like we are gaining a lot monetarily. We’re not.
I wish I could do more for every business, organization and whoever else that has extended a helping hand to my family. I hope that they know their charity is being appreciated very much!
We are like any other family.
In this last misconception, big or small, military families are exactly the same as civilian families by being completely unique and different from one another, but still in the same boat.
I am truly convinced if you lined all of us up in a room (sans service member because, let’s face it, the haircut might give it away), a layperson would not be able to pick out the military family from the civilian family. With that being said, we all come from the same planet, so please don’t be afraid of us. Military families really want to fit in!