You had me at Tricare

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You had me at Tricare.

For some reason, I’d missed this phrase in everyday culture. “You had me Tricare,” is a line military wives use. Someone’s asking you out, offering to be part of our life, offering to be the father of your children etc but in the end, you’re marrying them for health insurance. Active military get Tricare which isn’t bad as health insurance goes.

Let’s talk about the whole issue of marrying for insurance or staying married for insurance. Hundreds of thousands of Americans get married for insurance or stay married so that we can be insured. We don’t have insurance readily available so we sometimes are conveniently in a relationship just so we can have insurance.

Marrying someone in the military isn’t just like marrying anyone. Your spouse, if he/she is in the infantry or the Marines is being paid to kill people for a living. In addition, the person you are married to is going to be gone for months and years at a time. Having a military partner isn’t like any other kind of partner. You have to be willing to live without this person who you’re married and to and you have to know that when they come back, they are likely to be a very different person.

Let me say for the record, that Tricare or no, I could not be married to someone in the military. I wouldn’t like having my spouse being gone for much of the time and I’m even less enthusiastic about the idea of my spouse being part of the death and destruction that goes with the building of the American empire.

My visit to Walter Reed was a very enlightening experience. The men and women were being cared for very attentively. The new hospital is beautiful with fountains and a fake fireplace.

One told me that many people in the military had wives who had married them for the health benefits and that while they were on active duty their spouses turned up pregnant. I asked what explanation the wives gave, and he said, “they say they’ve been raped.”

Most of us marry for some benefits. We want companionship, a co parent, a friend. Someone to keep off the loneliness. Health care is more practical than most reasons you could marry.

I liked the soldiers I met with at Walter Reed. I wish them a calm life. They wanted to be happy. That’s what they wanted, a happy life. Is that too much to ask? Happiness is supposed to be an American right. But it isn’t. We have to actually create happiness and that isn’t easy to do unless you’re in complete control of your sanity.

Here’s to happiness. Here’s to some version of sanity and here’s to marrying for the right reasons and to knowing what the right reasons are.

Published in: on September 20, 2014 at 7:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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