Dear Dependa…


Hi, my name is Jodi. I am a military spouse, and a military veteran.  I spent five years in the military, and have been associated with the military for over 20 years between marriage, dating, and being in the reserves and active duty.  I am writing to you the people referred to as Dependas, and those who hate them.

You see, Dependa, you are making the rest of us look badly.  Your actions are reflecting upon us.  Whether you are marrying a person out of convenience, going to base with a bad attitude, or are just down right immature and behaving as such.  As someone who has been around the block it saddens me that your behavior is affecting the way the rest of us relate to other military members and their spouses.  I have some suggestions for you.

First of all, if you are getting married for “the benefits,” just don’t.  They really are not that great, and there are fewer and fewer benefits.  Military pay really isn’t all that and a bag of chips.  I have lived in base housing for two years and after living down the street from one of you, I will never live on base again.  Yeah, military guys are hot, we all know that, but please for the love of all that’s holy, think before you get married.

Secondly, don’t post your bullsh#t on the Internet.  I don’t want to know that your husband is deployed and you are available.  If you are not going to keep a dog, don’t adopt one.  Don’t bring your marital problems, your cat fights, or your hot mess of a house on public Facebook pages.  I don’t want to know that you and your husband are swingers, put that on other sites thank-you-very-much.  If you would be embarrassed if your Facebook posts would be read out loud on Jimmy Fallon, it doesn’t belong on Facebook.

If you are an officer’s spouse, keep your husband’s rank to yourself.  Guess what, honey?  There’s always some guy who outranks your husband.  You don’t get saluted when you come on base, you don’t get to butt in front of the person in uniform by virtue of your husband’s rank.  You don’t get any special privileges, trust me.  I have been a Lieutenant’s spouse, a Captain’s spouse, a Major’s Spouse, and a Colonel’s spouse—my poop still stinks, I still put my panties on the same way, and I don’t even throw around the rank I did earn.

Furthermore, Officer’s Spouse, you don’t outrank spouses.  When I talk to the spouses in my husband’s unit, I say this: “Rank amongst spouses is like chastity amongst whores, it don’t exist.”  Especially, spouses married to senior members, let the younger spouses run the FRG/Key Spouse program.  A great leader steps aside and let’s other people shine.  I know that when I was younger, I was scared of the spouses of my husband’s boss, and even the most down-to-earth spouse can be overwhelming to a brand new spouse.  Finally, when you have bad days, we all have them, just stay away from base.  No need to be witchy to the bagger at the commissary.

Now, to those Dependas who think it’s cool to point out and shame other Dependas.  Just don’t, especially when you are participating in the whole Mommy Wars.  It’s not your business why someone is a stay at home mom.  A person who is overweight is NO burden to you, so don’t judge.  If you are happily married and supporting your husband, then be happy. There’s no reason for you to point out that you are better than someone else.  You are not.  If you absolutely need to point out how much better you are, perhaps you should seek therapy.  Posting negative crap on Facebook just spread negativity—when you add a negative number to another negative number, you continue to get negative numbers—simple addition.  Unless you are absolutely perfect and Jesus Incarnate, you have no place to judge anyone else.

If you are an active duty Dependa, you need to stop too.  Really we all get it, there are Dependas, and they are bad people. Pointing out how horrible they are doesn’t make you look any better.  The military relies on the support of the civilians, who choose to fight for the military and its veterans.  Often the strongest supporters are military spouses, or Dependas, alienating them is not in your best interest.  Further, the military is not forever, once you get out and try to find a job, do you think your behavior online will convince people to hire you?  As someone who has been a manager and has hired people in the past, I look at social media accounts, if you are badmouthing your boss’ wife active duty, do you honestly think someone will hire you?  What if you are single and looking for love?  Would comments about someone else’s husband/wife endear you to a future mate?  I know many single women, who do social media searches on their boyfriends.

Also stop extending the definition of a Dependa.  People who make brag bags, OK I get it, they are irritating, ugly, and not something I personally would wear, but are they really Dependas?  Women who have Vera Bradley, or Coach bags—Dependa?  I know plenty of non-military women who like these things.  How does what one person spends their money on hurt someone else?  And finally, those who are getting more vocal about the whole bullying thing, they are over-sensitive, and therefore are Dependas, right?  I don’t like the word retard, my son is delayed.  I have seen how retard hurts him, so I don’t like it when people use that word.  Does that make me a retard, too?

Finally, if you are thinking about getting married to a Dependa, particularly you, young E-1s and E-2s.  Think about it before you get married.  If you are marrying someone as a convenience the DoD is starting to crack down on the convenience marriages.  Putting an ad on Craig’s List could very well get you courts martialed.  Living in dorms is a Right of Passage.  Just ask anyone who went to college immediately after high school.  It sucks, but it’s short lived.  Getting married for the BAH, the housing, or to get more freedom is not a good reason to get married.  Someone will end up getting hurt, and it will probably be you.  Women who marry men for money usually end up screwing them over.  And you know as well as I do, that your buddies will try to talk you out of it.  I have seen it, and I have been the one trying to talk a young airman out of a bad relationship.  Listen to them.

Well, Dependa, that’s about all I have.  You are getting far more attention than you deserve.  You have monopolized military publications, you take over the comments section, and you are just the bane of everyone’s existence.  If you are the ones pointing out Dependa flaws, please do what you advise non-Dependas, ignore them.  They aren’t really hurting you, but you are hurting others in the process.

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