Prior to my wife's enlistment in the Army, I was a real man's man. For the better part of a decade, I put on my boots every morning before getting in a hot, smelly work truck in Florida–a loud and beefed up 1984 F-150 pulling a lawn trailer. I was self-employed; my days were spent inhaling the exhaust of lawn equipment or enjoying the smell of fresh dirt while I planted trees and shrubs, or laid down sod. When I wasn't working or spending time with my family, I fished, played poker, bowled, and did all sorts of other fellowship things with other men. I even camped alone in the wilderness. My life was filled with all kinds of manly activities.
When she shipped out to boot camp, I became a military spouse, and everything I thought I knew about life changed. And that change was drastic. In March of 2010 I was Wayne “Doughboy” Perry, just your average landscaper running a weed-whacker and pushing a wheelbarrow. By October 2012, I was Wayne Perry, AKA TheArmyWife(DUDE), speaking at the Association of the United States Army(AUSA) Annual Meeting and Exposition as a voice for male military spouses.
Military life can be an exciting adventure, as long as you're prepared. Here are some tips to help you begin your new life as part of the military community.
Former Vice President of the United States Hubert H. Humphrey once said, "Behind every successful man is a proud wife and a surprised mother-in-law." Could the reverse be true? I believe so!
When we think of the term "military Spouse", many have the habitual tendency to assume we're talking about a woman. These unsung heroines also come in the form of unsung heroes, with either definition of military spouse serving a vital role in unique marital relationships.
When Chris Pape jumped in his car in January 2011 and began driving around the country, little did he know that his inaugural idea for a website would eventually help change the lives of the people he's most familiar with — male military spouses, and their wives who help defend this country.
Pape and his wife, Maj. Dana Pape, are stationed at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Chris was selected as one of six active duty military members' spouses — and the only male — competing for the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year award, presented by Military Spouse magazine.
Everett Lopez is an exception within the exception.
He's a male military spouse, whose ranks account for just 7 percent of all military spouses. Beyond that, he's a male military spouse with a private sector career, an even rarer combination.
While he's proud of his wife and of his role, his 11-year journey as a military spouse has been marked at times by stereotypes, insufficient support and isolation.
I got the chance to interview Everett, who is active at Military Spouse Central, about his experiences as a military husband. After hearing his story, it became clear that military and civilian readers alike can perhaps gain a new perspective about what it means to be a military spouse.
SAN ANTONIO (May 6, 2015) -- "We can do more than change light bulbs and mow lawns," said Dave Etter.
Etter is a part of a small group in the military community -- the male military spouse. According to a 2013 Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense report, males made up 7.3 percent of the Active Duty spouse population.
Male spouses have voiced their concerns about what it is like to be in the minority.
My name is Scott Stanley and I'm a research professor in the psychology department at the University of Denver and I've worked with military families, especially through the Chaplain Corps for about 20 years now and I'm also the principal investigator of a large study that's going on right now following many married couples in the Army to see how things go over time.
Whether you're a former service member or you're new to military life, being the male spouse of a service member can take some getting used to. There are some situations you'll likely face that could put a stress on your marriage. You can help keep your marriage strong by learning about these situations you may face, preparing for them, recognizing when you need help and knowing the resources available to you.
Researchers at George Mason University hope an ongoing study into the effects of post-traumatic stress on soldiers' home lives will yield more ways the Army can address the issue — and not just for one type of family unit.
About 15 spots in the study are open for male spouses or partners of female soldiers in the active Army, the National Guard or the Army Reserve who have exhibited symptoms of PTSD. An official diagnosis of the disorder is not required for a family member to participate, lead researcher Keith Renshaw said.
I am not sure what to do. I am the very rare and hardly noticed male military spouse. I feel like I don't fit in anywhere. My wife is always being invited to both military member events and spouse events because they mistake her for the actual dependent. I feel like I have lost myself within a world that does not yet accept male spouses. I love my wife and I love the military life, but how do I work on getting people to understand that I go through the exact same problems as female spouses?
Left Behind Male Spouse