Military life from the perspective of family members

Introduction

Military life has more rules to it than does civilian life.  The two modes of living have many parallels such as ID cards and driver’s licenses for identification, housing officials and code enforcement officers for minding your Ps and Qs in residential neighborhoods, and city police and military police for general law enforcement.  The difference is that life close to the military is more tightly controlled.  Installations closely document the registry of large personal belongings such as cars or motorcycles, restricted areas take up more space, and ‘gate-keepers’ check more often to make sure you are ‘authorized.’  It seems as if ‘the military’ controls your life, and, for active-duty, Reserve or National Guard members, ‘the military’ does control their lives.  But is this true for family members?

This part, of the chapters on the military-specific life of homeschooling parents, lays the groundwork for the chapter on military authority over the families of servicemembers.  I want to draw a rough picture of what it means to live alongside a servicemember so that I can more easily explain my view of who is in charge of whom, and why, and lay out the relationship between civilian family members and military authorities.  Some readers here will be new to military life and may have an idea that, because they are married to a servicemember, their husband’s chain of command has legal authority over the family.

To read the full article, with links, please click here.

Copyright 2010, Valerie Bonham Moon

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