Don't you dare think we all knew what to do after we got married to a soldier! This Military life is so darn confusing and I wish I had someone there to help me understand it. This is perfect for those of you who are newly married or plan to be married in the future. I created a printable checklist that has the steps you need to take after you say "I Do".
1. Update Your name on Your Social Security card. Now, I didn't do this until months into our marriage, but I wish I did! I had to take our marriage certificate with me everywhere because of it, so please make sure you go in and update your name ASAP. The sooner, the better.
2. Make Copies of Your Marriage License. Because you may need it for multiple instances, make copies of it! Your husband will have to borrow it so they can make a copy, or you can just make a copy already to make things easier. They need this to go in his record so his pay and everything else will be updated.
3. Get Your Dependent Card. This will allow you to enter base without your spouse there and to shop at the Commissary and Exchange. For most bases and in my case, I got my ID at the same time we applied for DEERS.
4. Enroll in DEERS. DEERS is defense enrollment eligibility reporting system... Translation: It's the database that lists those eligible for Tricare. To do this, you will need your birth certificate, marriage certificate, license, and social security card. This is why it is important to get everything done beforehand, to make this a quick and easy process.
5. Register for Tricare. This is pretty easy, as it is an automatic thing after enrolling in DEERS. But, it is important you understand all the benefits of your insurance, and get a dental plan. Since we are NG and don't get Tricare, we had to go through the insurances his work recommends and find the best fit for us. Do your research and see what you are qualified for, they do a pretty good job of explaining it here.
6. Update Bank Accounts. When you get married, you'll want to have your name added to his bank account or create a new joint one. No, this isn't so you can clean out his bank account (oh but those shoes you found are so tempting!) but in case of an emergency and to have access to your collective funds. This is especially important if he is deployed or even at basic. His pay is directly deposited into the bank account and it can be difficult to pay bills when he is gone if you aren't on the account.
Along with this, you may want to discuss becoming a power of attorney. "This can include the ability to manage bank accounts; sell, exchange, buy or invest any assets or property; purchase and maintain insurance; and enter into any binding contracts on your behalf." (found here) So if gosh forbid something happens, you need to purchase a vehicle, or if you want to put an offer on a house, you can do so as a POA. Obviously this requires great trust and will need to be discussed between the two of you.
Bonus: Memorize his social security number. When you go to a doctor's office you will be asked it, if you are filling out any forms you will need to have it... So make your life easier and memorize it as soon as you can.
If you would like to download this printable, simply click the photo below and it will redirect you to the PDF to download and print! Hopefully this helps those who are new Army spouses, or who are going to be in the future.
Amidst packing up my house, I realized something... I love the colors red, white, and blue. I have so much American/military home decor it's insane! While we are in the process of moving, we are purging a lot of our things and keeping/ buying things we can really see ourselves keeping for the years to come. I have been perusing for the perfect rug for our living room for a great while now, and just recently I found the absolute perfect one from Lorena Canals Rugs.
I received this rug in the mail, folded up neatly in a box and with care instructions. I love what this company does and what they stand for as they are providing schooling for children in Northern India. I love when companies give to others and you can read more about their project here!
When I first put this rug down, Pepper was obsessed. She loved rolling around with her toys on it and I didn't care how much she played on it because... You guys, this rug is washable. No, not just you can shampoo it, but you can literally put it in the washer and get all the dog hairs, or everyday mess that can happen! (Mommas I'm looking at you!) This is what truly drew me into this company, because with a puppy who is a legendary shedder, I can keep this rug spotless without sacrificing its quality!
Thank you so much Lorena Canals for the perfect rug for my home! I never would have thought marrying a man in the military would have driven me to having such patriotic decor, but I love it!
Check out their website, because they have so many options, including a rug shaped like angel wings. What is your decor style? they have rugs for everyone and they are selling more rug options, that weren't available in the U.S. yet, over this next month so keep a look out! Thank you for reading and thank you to Lorena Canals for gifting me the perfect rug for my home.
Hi all! I am no stranger to military apparel, in fact I love showing my support for my husband as much as I can. I feel like army support apparel is a great way to show support, and it helps when the clothes are cute!
I have been waiting and waiting for this day to finally come ever since I've been in contact with the sweetest Etsy shop ever, Blue Sand Textiles. She makes all different designs, but what drew me in was her Army Wife and Military inspired shirts. She kindly sent me this tank top & is going to send you one too!
This tank top is made of super soft material and I can tell I'm going to be wearing it all summer! I love the quality of this material and I know y'all will love it to! Jen, the owner of Blue Sand Textiles, and I will be doing a giveaway, where you can get your very own tank top from her shop! It doesn't have to be Army wife or military related as she has other cute designs.
Are you ready to enter? Here's how:
1. You must be following Jen (@blue_sand_jen) and me (@thestrattons)
2. Like my photo on Instagram announcing this giveaway
3. Comment what branch your SO is in OR your favorite summertime activity
And that's it! The only other requirement is that you live in the U.S. (this makes it easier on me!) I will be announcing the winner this following Wednesday, June 15th on my Instagram and will be selecting the winner Tuesday night at 10pm via random.org. So make sure you enter before then! I'll announce it and message the winner on Instagram, and you'll receive an in store credit. (Enough to pick out a tank top of this style and to cover shipping)
I love being an Army wife and I'm proud of my husband daily. If you are an Army wife, or you are soon to be, just take one piece of advice: always support your husband and his job. It's no easy task, but the payoff is so worth it as we have valued safety and comfort in our homes. I am a huge believer in our soldiers and that they have the best intentions for our country. Nonethelesss, if you are a military significant other, enter this giveaway so you can show support for your guy (or girl!).
I love having such a cute tank top that shows my support for my husband! Do you own any military inspired apparel? Thank you for reading & go check out Jen and her Etsy shop to see more of her designs.
In November 2013, my life changed forever. I met my future husband and in the beginning of the following year, he left me to go on a deployment.
Not such a fairy tale beginning huh?
Deployment. At that time, I knew nothing about the Army... And in a few months I was supposed to let my boyfriend just go and serve our country. I'll give you a little foresight and tell you I was nothing short of prepared. Looking back at this now, I don't know how I didn't just lose my mind everyday!
I'll never forget that feeling of when he returned. The second I laid eyes on him I didn't even cry I just let out a breath and felt peace. My other half was finally back and all was well again. I remember feeling like it was all a dream and I was too in shock to actually cry (and I had cried my whole way to seeing him haha).
So while it was the end of his deployment, it started our beginning. Without this deployment, we would have never even met so I am very grateful he deployed (I'm aware that is a weird thing to say!). Also, without him I would have never felt such happiness and love, nor would I have made this blog. This blog started off just sharing moments of our relationship & marriage, but now it has turned into something extra: the military life. I want to share my experiences and tips with others, who are living the military life as well.
I want to let others going through a deployment, or long distance, know that it is all worth it when you see your other half walking towards you. My blog has definitely transitioned a lot, but I hope to lend advice and humor to this life we chose because we love our spouses.
I plan on doing a post soon diving into the actual deployment, I've just had trouble finding my words because it was a roller coaster of a year. My hope is that I can aid others going through a deployment soon or currently, and let them know they aren't alone.
So, meet us The Strattons. A soldier of 11 years & a girl who loves to share their life with others. I hope our stories and advice benefit you in some way and that you continue to stick around. Thank you for reading my blog and going on this journey with us.
Summer is finally here! I found some fun things that will be great for the summertime. I've been spending a ton of time on Shop My Exchange lately, because I'm looking to upgrade my camera. While I was perusing the electronic section, I found some amazing deals and then some! These items will make your summer so much fun and you'll be saving a lot too. All of these but one are about 50% off the original price.