The Dependa Mindset

I do not know this family.

Clearly the older two men in the photo are members in the Army.

I don’t know if the bride ever served. I shouldn’t be so quick to judge. However, I don’t believe that she has ever raised her right hand and promised to lay her life down for her country.

Pictures like this anger me . Let me explain before you tell me I’m a judgemental asshole.

I wear the uniform. I took the sacred oath. I serve my country by fixing their planes. I work hard. My rank is my own. If I had a quarter for every time an ignoramus person assumed that my husband is the only military member in our little family, I’d have more money than the retirement payout the Air Force gives out.

I am married to another military member. I am very proud of my husband and I’m proud of what he has done in his career so far. That being said, I don’t care what my husband does for a living. Rank is left at the front door in our home. As long as he is happy with what he does, I’m happy too.

However, not all military families are the same. My family is odd because we both serve. The majority of military families have only 1 partner serving and the gender of the majority of these single-serving families are male.

The phrase of “Who doesn’t love a man in uniform” is still a concept in the United States. Many of my fellow gender cohorts were raised that if they get married or date, they need to pick a partner that is capable of providing for them. (My mom raised me to earn my own money and fully encouraged surrounding myself with a plethora of felines.) I remember sitting in Geology class and overhearing one of the girls in my class gushing about how her 19 something year old boyfriend was leaving for basic training soon. She said that she couldn’t wait to be at his first base with him and all the things she’d be able to buy.

Yea, I distinctly remember every detail and I can’t make up that level of shallow bullshit.

When I came home that day from school, my stepdad told me that she will be the future generation of badge bunnies. (My stepdad is a phenomenal and loving man but has no tolerance for stupid bullshit.) A badge bunny is basically a different way to say dependa. I think of it as levels. A “badge bunny: would be the unmarried significant other. A dependa would be the married level. Please note that not every significant other is “badge bunny” or a “dependa”

Both of these type of individuals are pretty much defined the same. These folks are the ones that “wear the rank” of the military significant other. I feel really bad for the first shirts that have to take the constant phone calls from the dependa’s.

The typical dependa usually is a stay-at-home wife/mom (husband/dad). (I’m not bashing the stay-at-home mom. Those families save on childcare costs and their child receives solid enrichment from the good parent. I think that is important.) The dependa is caught in the mindset that being the wife/husband is the hardest job in the [insert branch of service here]. They call the shirt every time their spouse has to work 12’s or whatever injustice they feel was done to either them or the member.

Dependas drive me insane. I can’t stand it when they wear parts of the uniform and they never had to go to basic training and earn it.

I can’t stand it when they tell me the “My husband is a SSgt…. you have to do this for me, he outranks you….” No lady, go fuck yourself. I am not shoveling your driveway for you because your SSgt husband is deployed. I don’t have to do anything for you. Leave me alone. (In this particular encounter with a Dependa, she had no kids. She wasn’t sick. She was lazy, and thought that someone from the unit had to perform yard services for her because her husband was deployed.)

The Dependa culture is real. Go look at some of the military spouses pages and see for yourself.

These individuals bring discredit to the some of the amazing wives out there that stand by spouses. I know some kick-ass wives that deal with last minute deployments and PCS events without complaint. They don’t recieve the credit they deserve because of the few.

Dependas make me so angry because not only do I wear the uniform, I am a military spouse as well. It’s not always easy. Not only do I have to deal with my husband’s last minute deployments and PCS moves. I have to try and get orders to PCS with him. I know that for us, it’s not “when” we are apart, it’s the question of “how long this time“.

The Air Force really does try and keep the dual-military couples together but sometimes, it’s just not possible. I can’t just quit my job and travel the world with him at a moments notice. I have my own chain of command to answer to.

I don’t know if Dependas understand that or if they even care. The non-dependa wives out there get it. They care.

I’ll wrap up my rant. I know I am a judgemental asshole. I’m not sorry. I am just tired of the few out there making my life and the lives of spectacular wives out there harder.

Dependas that are reading this. Just stop. You are making it harder to be taken seriously as a wife, a woman and a female Airman.







One thought on “The Dependa Mindset

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s