Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What some military spouses may not know..

My husband will tell you I am a researcher. I get as much info as I can about things because I refuse to get myself into a situation that I know nothing about. Some days it drives him absolutely crazy because even though I am ALWAYS right he hates to admit it. Facebook, google, and personal blogs are great ways to get REAL opinions and recommendations. You could learn a lot about the military life or certain installations just by using the internet. Here are the few things you may not know as a military spouse but might want to know :)

PCS/Moving- ANYTIME the military moves you(pcs) you are given DLA. I have read numerous times where people didn't know they received this money when they moved and found out too late so they lost out on the $2,000+. Click here and you can also see what else you receive whenever you move(this is only for a PCS not if you move from one house to another at or near the same base). If ya'll have an upcoming PCS try and go to the levy briefing to write down everything you need to remember. Yes the husbands go but it helps if you go too, that away you aren't clueless when it comes to the move and if he forgets something maybe it will be something you remembered :)

MyCAA- Very few people know about MyCAA and it pretty much turns in to wasted money if not used. MyCAA gives you $4000 to pay for almost any type of schooling. To some $4000 might not be a lot. And truthfully when it comes to school it really isn't. BUT that is $4000 you don't have to spend on school. The only down fall to MyCAA is you have to use it by a certain time. You have to be married to an active duty service member in pay grades E1-E5, O1-O2, or W1-W2. You can use that money to get a certificate in something or you can use the $4000 to help pay for a degree. It won't cover it in full but it will help. So don't let that money go to waste, USE IT! You also need know MyCAA does not cover books so if you take a class through your local junior college you will probably have to pay out of pocket for your books.
FASFA- A lot of military families who qualify for MyCAA also qualify for FASFA and you can use MyCAA and FASFA together. FASFA WILL PAY FOR YOUR BOOKS!

METLIFE- Tricare does not cover dental work. Tricare covers your health and vision but not dental. If you plan on seeing a dentist have your spouse or even yourself enroll you and your children(if you have them) into metlife to cover your dental. ALSO Tricare only covers the eye exam. It DOES NOT cover glasses, contacts, or the contact exam. You will have to pay that out of pocket.

WIC- In the beginning surviving off what little pay ya'll get is hard paying for all the bills, gas, and groceries. And then you are left eating bread and water the last few days before payday. WIC helps military families up until a certain rank. I'm not sure if military families without children qualify but it doesn't hurt to call your local wic office and ask.

Space-A & Patriot Express-  Not many people know about this. Space-A and Patriot Express can be pretty amazing. It is a way for military members and dependents to travel and pay very little for flights. It can be a bit difficult but to pay $4-$50 per person to fly is pretty cheap! For those of yall wanting to know more about space-a click here and it will take you to the FAQ page. I'm not too familiar with it so I don't want to give the wrong information to people, their are many requirements to travel space-a.

ICE- If you only remember one thing from this blog post PLEASE remember ICE! ICE is a GREAT tool for service members and dependents to use and it can be done anonymously if you'd like. Now don't abuse this tool. It is a website where DoD customers can rate their services provided. I will personally say I have used this a LOT in the past year. A LOT more than I wanted to. But every single time it was necessary. Don't file a complaint just because your husband was smoked for showing up 30 minutes late. Or because he is having to work late all week. Their is a time and place for an ICE complaint. You can't expect someone to fix something they know nothing about and that's where ICE comes in place. Not only can you make complaints on the ICE website but you can also provide positive feedback. My son was bit by a dog and the doctor we saw off post at the hospital also worked on post and followed up with us twice about the dog bite. He did great with my son so we provided positive feedback on ICE about him. It is a great tool for all to use.

CYS- Child and Youth Services is on every military installation where dependents are allowed. It is where you enroll your kids in sports, child care, and many other things. If your spouse is deploying CYS gives you a little more benefits. Here at Fort Drum we get:
- 16 hours free care per month/per child at Hourly Programming.
- $2.00 per hour after 16 hrs of free monthly hourly care
- Free Care for deployment briefings
- Free Care for FRG meetings            
(including one month prior and 3 months after  deployment)
- 20% fee discount for Full Day and Part Day care with a working spouse  
- $300 SKIES Credit (instructional) per Dep.  
- $100 CYSS Sports Credit per Dep.
But your child does have to be enrolled in CYS before you qualify for all this. And all you need is an updated physical, shot records, and certain records. You can call CYS to schedule an appointment and see what all you need to bring.

DISCOUNTS- here is a discount list. Those probably are not all of the discounts you and your spouse can receive with a military ID. Any time we make a big purchase or set up service with someone we make sure to ask about a military discount. We don't ask for it whenever we pay for dinner and if they give it we just add the discount they gave us on to our tip we give. But like we bought furniture a few months back and that was a BIG purchase but we got a small discount that makes it not SO BIG! haha. Our phone, tv, and internet service we have a discount. If you buy a car at the end ask if they do a military discount. Don't ask up front because they will probably act like they gave a military discount but jack up another fee to make it even out. During certain military holidays a lot of the stores near military bases will do sales and then if you show your military id you will get even more of a discount! Last year Kirklands had a HUGE sale. I think it was the weekend of veterans day and if you had your military id you got the extra 10% off. Well I had been eyeing this huge painting that I just loved but it was over $100 and I am cheap when it comes to buying d├ęcor.. That weekend I managed to get the painting for $30-$40!!

Military OneSourse- The military life does have it's difficulties. Your spouse could be suffering from PTSD and you may think you have no where to turn but Military OneSourse is confidential and offers a lot of help. You or your children could also be having problems coping with the recent deployment. Give Military OneSourse a call. Don't knock it until you've tried it. Maybe you are new to the military and are clueless when it comes to budgeting. Call Military OneSourse. Their is help out there and all you have to do is make the call.

The military does have a LOT more to offer military spouses these are just some of the things I have seen that most people don't know about.

(you can click on every bold blue word and it will take you to their website to get more information)


  1. CONNIE = Rose

    Your experiences for the year were amazing! I got a new appreciation for my parents since I was a air force brat.

  2. It sounds like a very busy life

    1. It can be at times.. VERY BUSY haha

  3. You remind my of my daughter and husband. They research the heck out of everything but it pays off for them and I can see it pays off for you and your family too.

  4. Very thorough listing and I agree with you the wie should go and here what can be done or offered, my sons are all out of service now and two of my oldest served 20 plus years and the change from military to civilian is a hard adjustment to do, I think it is great that you hubby got his promotion and that you are so thorough about change of duty stations.

    1. My husband has 4 years left until his contract is up and I have no idea if he will be staying in or getting out. But the adjustment back to civilian life kind of scares me a bit.

  5. Sharing this with my readers -- such great information! My stepdad was in the military and I know we probably could have had access to more benefits than we ever used.