July 18, 2013

Military spouse discounts: For or against?

Today, I'd like your opinion.

Most businesses offer a discount for their goods and services if you have a valid military i.d.  It's usually 10%.  Not a whole not, but it does add up...especially on those trips to Lowe's (which are often).
Aside from Lowe's, Scott usually checks with hotels to see if there's a government rate.  There's often a big difference in price between that and the regular rate, so we make use of it when available.

Usually, Scott doesn't ask for the military discount if it's not offered.  If it's a business that I know offers that 10% off, I'll nudge him to ask for it.

Now.  Here's where the problem comes in: As a military spouse, am I allowed to ask for this discount?  I have a valid military i.d.  It gets me on base, into the gym, into my doctor's appointments (essentially serving as an insurance card), and I can purchase goods on base with it.  But am I allowed to ask for this discount if, say, I'm at the Banana Republic Outlet?  What if they offer it to me upon seeing my Alaska driver's license and ask how I ended up in Missouri?  What if they see my USAA check card and offer the discount (a common occurrence)?

What if there are people out there who believe I shouldn't have the right to the 10% off at the Banana Republic Outlet?  What if they tell me that I have "done anything to deserve it" so I better not ask for or accept it?

Because that totally happened.  I know people who believe mil-spouses have no right to such things.

I haven't served my country.  I haven't deployed.  I haven't signed up to give my life for freedom.  No one likes a fraud, right? Perhaps I really don't deserve the right, and I understand the reasoning behind that opinion.  Sort of.

But where do you draw the line?  That i.d. gets me on base, no questions asked.  Can a civilian do that?  I scan it into the machine at the gym each morning and have access to classes and amenities.  Can anyone do that?  They check it every time I pay at the commissary and the Post Exchange.  It gets me books at the library.  It gets me FREE MEDICAL CARE.

Are you (these people) telling me that I don't have the right to THOSE^ things because I haven't signed up to serve my country?  That's the flaw in their opinion, if you ask me.

I mean, I totally get that I shouldn't be allowed on post, in the gym, in the commissary, and I definitely shouldn't get any kind of medical care...because I only married into the army.  I didn't join the army.

(Absolute bitter sarcasm ^ up there)

As I'm typing this, I'm getting kind of agitated.  In fact, when Scott and I had this discussion, I got so agitated (think: angry tears) that I convinced him that I was right and the people he knows who believe I'm undeserving of base privileges are arrogant jackholes.

What do you think?  Obviously, I know what I think, but it scares me to think there's people (dual-military couples, in my experience) out there who believe military spouses should be independent of themselves.

And because you know need something cute to look at after reading my angry writing...


  1. In all honesty, I think yes. My SIL was a mil-wife for 10 years. I've seen how hard it is. I saw all of the sacrifices she made. No, you don't serve your country, but I believe as a mil-spouse you are just as entitled to all the amenities you mentioned. I say screw the jack holes and get your discount!

  2. I think as a military spouse, you are entitled. You have made sacrifices. Firstly, you are married to someone and have to share him. Secondly, you have given up being able to only call one place home. Lastly, you've sacrificed the idea that you WILL grow old with your husband. As a military spouse you know that there could be a chance your spouse goes overseas and doesn't come back.
    I'm sorry, but all military families give up so much and if a retailer chooses to give them a discount to show their appreciate, then good for them. In fact, I think I will more more likely to give my business to them.

  3. Someone said that? What in the world? I think you are absolutely included in any discount that is offered. Your husband is your other half and you've shouldered a lot of the burden of his deployments/service in different ways (i.e. surviving winters in AK alone!).

  4. I see absolutely no reason why spouses should not allowed to take advantage of discounts! Doesn't make sense to me.

  5. When you're married, you usually have joint finances. Wouldn't you not getting the discount hurt you guys financially? You sacrifice with moving, etc.

  6. People outside the military use their spouse's insurance all the time. I don't see why people would be offended that anyone who marries military wouldn't expect the same benefits.

    I can understand people being upset by some spouses doing this, but only the ones who marry just for the benefits and use them to their full advantage. Just like some people outside the military take advantage of the system, so do some people in the military.

    I feel bad getting the discount simply by my boyfriend being there, but people offer it up. I don't ever ask. And if they hand it out like candy, then why not take it? Why make others feel bad?

    And finally, because I'm feeling extra spunky, why do all military deserve discounts? Some of them have never seen combat, so why do they deserve it? The people who say that spouses don't deserve benefits could have their own argument used against them.

    That's not how I feel by the way, I'm just saying it. (Probably to be a jerk, lol.)

  7. My husband is on my health insurance even though he doesn't work for the school district. I was able to use his parking pass when I needed it even though I didn't work for the newspaper. Jobs have benefits. Spouses get to share those benefits. Boom.

  8. Kris, you better take this up with BR management. That is completely WRONG of them. Your HUSBAND serves for our country... you are his OTHER half and therefor, you get those discounts.

    I hope you told them to go and fuck their selves and threw their merchandise on the floor and walked out.

  9. I leave it up to the company. I ask, and if they say no or just for the service member, then whatever. Doesn't matter either way. I don't feel guilty using a discount though.

  10. I'm not one to usually ask if certain places offer discounts. If I know they give one then I show my ID but I don't go out of my way to ask mainly because I forget about it. However, I think it's wrong for people to say that as a military spouse it's NOT okay for us to get a discount. Companies have to know that it's just not active duty people that will come to them, but the entire family.

  11. I don't feel deserving of anything...even though I've gone years without seeing my family; worry while he is out flying; hardly have a career to speak of because we have moved 4 times in less than 6 years...etc. That being said, if they are offering the discount to AD and extending it to families, why not use it? I think it would be extremely rare for someone to turn down an offered discount, just 'cause.

  12. military spouses definitely make sacrifices for our country too and us non military spouses should thank you for it!

  13. I go back and forth on this one. On the one hand, I think if a place says "discount with a valid military id" then hell yes for the simple reason that I do in fact have a valid military id. But I generally don't go out of my way to ask if it isn't posted. Do I feel like it's something I "deserve"? eh...somedays! But mostly I just think it's nice to have. People are totally against it for milspouses though annoy me.

  14. I've never been in the military, nor had a spouse in one, but I think, honestly? You ARE in the army. You are the one at home. The one that gets left behind. You deal with the stuff that your husband can't when he's away. If the discount can make your life easier while you're supporting your husband while he's serving, then I think you should use it. And not feel guilty, or bad. And the people who say otherwise ARE jackholes.

  15. I think you serve your country by being a military wife and making sacrifices based on what the military wants to do with Scott. You absolutely can use that in my opinion and should because every penny counts.

    I use Josh's law enforcement discount when I can and let me tell you I'm not the one to strap on that bullet proof vest everyday but I am the one who lays awake in bed at night wondering if my phone will ring and my world will fall apart in a matter of seconds.

  16. Seriously? Some ass said you don't deserve it? I know I don't go through the same things my husband does being active duty, but it's his (and my) income that pays for those things. So "me" getting the discount saves "us" (him) money. Most of the discounts are for the military family, and you better believe that if they are offered I'll take them. And if they're not, well...that's fine, too. I don't feel entitled to much (in fact I hate that word...and people who think they are), but come on. I know I'd be making a lot more money and have a much more rewarding professional career if I wasn't forced to move every 2-3 years. That person is ridiculous.

  17. Well I think people who say you shouldn't get the discount have a completely different view of marriage than me, or say, the average Christian. A husband and wife are one extremely tight family unit and that family is especially impacted by finances. (And that unit is seriously impacted by either spouse's choice of career, too). Angel's company has deals with a whole bunch of other companies...I ain't no nurse and I'd never have the guts to be one anyways, but the discount is for both of our cell phone bills. And I went to college for free in large part because of scholarships "earned" because of my parents job--guess what, I also didn't choose their career, though my whole life was affected by it. There's a reason why we have marriage licenses that are extremely expensive to revoke (in case of divorce)--marriage is a unique relationship, it's not like you just hang out together a lot and are mooching off of him.

  18. You may not have actually joined the military, but the fact that you married someone who did absolutely entitles you to that discount. You may not serve the country the way Scott does, but you sacrifice your job, where you want to live, and the worry and loneliness you go through when he's deployed. I think that discount is the LEAST you deserve.

  19. I haven't read all the comments above, but would tossing out a quick "Do spouses qualify for the military discount?" aid in the process? That way, you don't have "guilt" (if you would call it that) of "taking advantage" of the situation without the retailer's input? That way, you are being honest and leaving the rules up to the merchant. And btw, if you have Triple A, Banana Republic gives a 10% discount for that too in case the military discount situation gets too messy!


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