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Dont know what to expect

Posted by on Jul. 25, 2007 at 9:23 PM
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Hello! I am new to the group. My husband, two kids (lili-8mons. and noah-3.5 years) and I live in Columbia, Tennessee. Actually we just moved here from Florida (tampa bay area) two months ago. My husband tried to enlist in the army 6 years ago and was discharged because of a shoulder injury. About 2 weeks ago Chris (my husband) decided that he wanted to go back and try to enlist again now that his shoulder is healed. We got word today that they are going to let him go to MEPS and take the a matter of fact he is going on early next week. They are doing a signing bonus right now that if he leaves for basic before august 26th that he get 20k. I am completely supportive of my husband I just dont know what to expect while he is at basic and after. My son, Noah, is Chris' step-son and I share custody with noah's biogical dad (I have permanent residency which means wherever I live he lives). I am just wondering if anyone else has been in this "dont know what to expect" situation and how things worked out. Being that we just moved we already dont know anyone here so this just complicates things all the more. All of our family live in florida and really dont understand why Chris is doing this especially since this leaves me with the kids alone for 9 weeks with noone I know around. I am also not sure how they do the money...I know that when Chris goes to basic I will get housing money but does his salary also start then? I am a stay at home mom and we rely on Chris' paycheck (that is one of the main reasons why we are doin this--financial freedom) so I am not sure if I am going to have to get a job and put the kids in daycare. Any advise or answer to my questions ladies?
by on Jul. 25, 2007 at 9:23 PM
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by on Jul. 26, 2007 at 1:15 AM
Military one source is a Great website to get advice and information they even have a hot line you can ask any question you'd like. Or they have information also, as far as pay grade goes, and yes he starts getting paid as soon as hes in basic he'll get paid every 1st and 15 of every month but depending on when he gets there ect, but those are the days they pay, I think alot of us have been through the I dont know what to expect stage lol. i know i have. but, i've gotten through it by finding friends, and good resources online lol. Also, i've been in places by myself with no friends or family lol. Like now for example we just moved her to Fort campbell, and my family lives in Colorado, and i dont know anyone yet, but thanks to cafemom its helped :) Hope this helped some . ~Danielle~
by on Jul. 26, 2007 at 8:42 AM
HI!  set your fears aside- your an army wife now!  that means you are entitled to exclusive membership to have life long friends!  can i be any cheesier?!  :)

actually, im not going to lie.  being a soldiers wife is a lot of work.  you are the mommy and the daddy as soon as your husband walks out that door.  you have to explain to your babies that daddy is working far away and he wont be back for a while.  you have to cook dinner AND mow the grass, clean the dishes AND fix the sink.

as for money, yes your husband will get paid right away BAH and regular pay.  but im not gonna lie- its not that great.  especially when he's just starting out.  the medical benefits are great!  everythings paid!  but you have to spend those horible hours on the phone dealing with tricare (at least i have).

as far as you getting a job.  two reasons why you cant.  one is that your husband's hours are going to be different everyday which means to try and have a night job would end in getting fired from coming in late all the time.  the second reason is that daycare around most posts is way expensive!!  because they know that military spouses need childcare so they jack the costs way up.  so you most likely wont be able to find a job that will make more than the childcare.  youd just be paying someone else to raise your kids.

theres a little info - ok a lot.  i know you have a lot of fear of the unknown but dont worry.  just keep busy!  join groups with your kids, participate in company events, and keep talking on cafemoms!  its been helping me alot!

we can talk anytime if you need to vent or have more ???!!!
by Member on Aug. 7, 2007 at 10:54 AM
Well the first thing you need to do if ur alone is have him find out if theres a FRG group you can contact. As for his pay being in basic I dont think it will be that much and his pay should start right away, my husbands did. He should also have it set up as direct deposit so alls you should need to do is go to the ATM. And let me tell you him being gone for 9 weeks you will soon lurn is nothing compared to him being gone for a year in Iraq. My husband is getting ready for his 3rd deployment. the 1st two were for a year n this one is for almost a year and a half. 

by Member on Aug. 10, 2007 at 11:15 AM

You also need to know that the bonus will not be given until he gets to his unit.  That means that you won't get the money until after basic and AIT.  It's also given over the span of his enlistment.  For example, my husband joined June of last year for 3 years and a $15,000 bonus.  He got $10,000 in October when he got to Ft. Campbell and he will get $2,500 this October and the other $2,500 next October.  Also know that they tax the hell out of it.  Out of the $10,000 he only got something like $6,000 (we were together then, but not married, so I didn't take care of the finances).

Depending on the MOS (job) he chooses, he could go through Basic and AIT together, meaning that he'd be gone for 17 weeks.   My husband left June 6 of last year and came home October 10, if that gives you an idea of the time frame.  It may not be like that for your husband, but it could and you may want to be prepared for that. 

As someone else said, just starting out, the pay isn't that great.  Once he gets to his duty station and you join him, it will be good because you can get the benefits of being on or near post (PX, Commissary, hospitals, etc.).  For us, childcare was $300 mo. for 1 child, so we opted for me to stay at home with her until I finish my degree.  For you, the situation may be different.  You can talk to the recruiter about pay grades and how much money that would mean for your family. 

Good luck! 

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