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Hi, I would appreciate any input or advice.  My daughter is 20 years old and is finishing up her AA degree.  We are a very close knit family and she has never been anywhere away from home for any length of time.  She dated her boyfriend in high school since she was 15 and he was 16 and they recently got engaged and want to get married in December.  Her now fiance  finished his schooling is stationed for 2 years at a location where he is doing his job.  He is located about 7 hours from where we live right now.  By the time they get married, he would have been in the service for a little over a year.  He has been promised to stay at his present location doing his job for at least 2 years and has a term of 5 years.  Their plan is to get married in December, and live off his pay while she continues to go to school full time to finish up her 4 year degree.  They want to be married because they miss each other being far apart and want to be together.  As parents, we want our daughter to be happy and support her decision, but also from experience, we know that it is not going to be easy.  Being away from home for the first time as a married woman, being a new wife in an area that is totally new and not having any family around other than her husband when she is used to having family around, being a full time student, living off of one income.  I don't think she realizes what a culture shock it is going to be and once the novalty of being married wears off a little bit, she may realize that what we were saying was true.  Right now all she can see is that she is in love and wants to be married so they can be together which I understand but am concerned for her.  If anyone is going through or has gone through a similar situation which I'm sure many have, I would appreciate anything you can offer.

If you are a mom who went or are going through a similar situation, were you able to get your daughter to view the pros and cons?  If she got married, how has she adjusted?  Is it as hard as I am thinking it will be?  Do you think it would have been better to wait until she finished school to get married?  Things I'm factoring in is possible pregnancy, moving around to different locations.

Also, if you are a young wife how are you adjusting?  Are you able to continue going to school or are things getting in the way of you completing your degree? 

I personally was hoping that when her now fiance went into the navy, it was going to give them the time they needed to focus on their careers and my daughter was going to only have to focus on being a full time student, finish up her degree, and would enable her to become her own person and independent instead of becoming completely dependent on her new husband, being a new wife in a new area, and being a full time student.  This also would have enabled them both to mature a little more since they are only 20 years old. 

Financially she says that they will be ok on one income since they will live in housing that is paid for.  I think he will be an E3, so that is what they will have to pay their bills and live off of.  From anyone's experience, is it easy to live off of that.

We do not come from a military family so this is an adjustment for all of us so any suggestions, advise, input would really be appreciated.






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I have a little experience with this situation. For myself I got married at 21 and moved cross country from WA to NC. My husband had just gotten out of the navy so we never lived together while he was in. There are pros and cons to moving away from family. The major pro (in my opinion) is it forces the young couple to really be there for each other. The bond my husband and I forged is so much stronger than I think it would have been if I had been able to heavily rely on family through the first years.

My other experience as a mom with this situation is with my own 20 yr old daughter. She came to us as a senior in high school with the news that she and her boyfriend wanted to get married. We thought she was going to ask for advice on maintaining closeness while apart. She had some very mature reasonings for wanting to do it. Her boyfriend had joined the army and was going to boot camp soon when she told us. they knew the likelyhood of him going to Afganistan fairly soon after A school was pretty high and they wanted to spend the time before he went together.  So we knew our options were limited and we agreed we would have a wedding after A school so she could go with him to his first duty station. Well 4 days before he left for boot camp they visited with his recruiter who told them it would be more benificial if they married before he left. we confirmed that with an outside source and the next day ended up at city hall with them to witness their marriage! She was 18 so we didn't have to give our consent but she was still in high school.CRAZY!!!!!! We still had the wedding a few months later when he finished A school.

He then got stationed in Fairbanks Alaska! So that is where she lives. He did get deployed to Afganistan for a year and is back now. She has matured soooooo much and we are so proud of her.She has had to learn to deal with many different types of situations on her own. We skype and text a lot and they have been down to visit a few times.


I would not have chosen for her to get married at 18 but I also know that there is no "ideal" or perfect marriage scenario. Marriage takes work and honestly I think young couples do better when they are not living close to family. I have tried very hard to stay out of the middle of their relationship. sometimes we talk about the spats they have but I try hard to stay neutral and encourage her towards working it out.

Our daughter started school last year while her husband was deployed and is doing very well. I am really proud of her. I don't agree with every decision they have made but we have not always made the best decisions either. That is how we learned some of our life lessons :)

The military is a strong support community, your daughter will make friends and have people that help her learn the ropes. And if their first place is only 7 hrs away I am sure you will be able to see them plenty.


She is already her own person and is going to have to be strong and independant as a navy wife. My advice would be to support their decision. It is hard to let go and stop trying to smooth the path ahead your kids but that is the way it has to be for them to truely grow up into the amazing adults they can be.

I hope that helps a little bit


Thank you for sharing. 

I do want to clear up what I mean by independent. 

To not be totally dependent on her future husband in a sense where if she needed to be able to financially support herself, that she would be able to do that before actually being married.  The way it stands, she will only be halfway done with college, with the good intention of completing and getting her bachelors in 2 to 2 and half years.  She will be totally dependent on him financially because she will be focusing on being a full time student, and not working.  Her fiance just purchased a vehicle and now has a car payment that he is responsible for. This adds to their bills.   

I really don't know all the particulars of E3 Navy salary, and I know they are alloted housing allowance and food allowance so I am hoping they have enough to make ends meet.  I am also hoping that they will be able to save money as they say they will.  For right now, he is only planning on staying in for 5 years.  That's always subject to change though.

When my husband and I first got married, our parents offered words of wisdom when they felt it would be helpful just because they knew from experience.  My husband and I got married at 21 and 23 after dating for almost 5 years, but in our scenerio, we were both done with school, had our degrees, working full time, and were able to save quite of bit of money to move out of our apartment and put a down payment on our house after a year and a half.  Also, we lived fairly close to our parents and continued a close family relationship.  My parents were there for me when my children were little when both my husband and I had to work on the weekends.  I was hoping that if my daughter needed me, I wouldn't be so far away.  She will not have the family support system that I had and we are very close.  This is going to be a very big adjustment for all of us. 

We now in turn have offered words of wisdom to our daughter.  We'd like her to be aware of all the pro and the con's. 

Also, if she is wanting to be married because she misses being away from her fiance, how is she really going to be when he gets deployed? 

I know there are support groups that help with this?  I'm wondering how newly married navy wives handle this.  Do they stay in their housing or where do they go when they can't go with their husbands? 






















Hmmm I guess I have a slightly different view, we have almost exclusively been a one income family our whole marriage.

Is she financially dependant on you right now?

I understand you fears. My son is the one who has joined the navy and is currently in DEP waiting to leave for bootcamp in Oct. I am worried that he will move away and never be as close to us as he was before the last couple of years.


Being away from family is hard, it is hard for me and it is hard for my daughter but, there are so many ways to stay in contact now.

I am sure that deployments will be hard but an advantage of marriage is they will be able to form a close bond before hand. I know for my daughter that made the real difference.

Yes, we had two full time incomes for about 5 years until we had our first child.  I continued working full time for a few months after he was born but, switched to part time after that.  I wouldn't have been able to work at all if my parents weren't there for us when both my husband and I had to work the same days.  They helped us out for 10 years until my second child started school.  They were wonderful and truly appreciated.  I was there for them also, when their health started declining and took care of them for 12 years.  Family is really important to us not only that we started our own family, but also extending to our parents.  I can definately relate to the fear of losing that close bond. 

It was hard on my sister when her daughter and family moved away to another state, not military affliated at all, but her daughter moved for economic reasons.  The difference though was that her daughter was 25 when she got married and lived at home until then concentrating on her studies.  They were also fortunate that they lived within 15 minutes of each other for 12 years and maintained their close relationship and she was there for her daughter, who had 3 children during that time period.  I am so happy for her now after that after 6 years, she has just been able to sell her house and purchased a house near her daughter.  Not that I'm saying that my daughter is planning on having children right away, but sometimes things happen. 

Yes, she is dependent on us.  She just turned 20 and is a full time college student.  She did work part time for a few years, but as her courses become more difficult, she is now strickly a student.  She strives to get really good grades.  I'm hoping that she will continue to be able to do this.  Right now, school is all she has to be concerned with.  After she is married, I'm sure that will change with her new responsibilies of being a wife and homemaker. 

I really appreciate you sharing your experiences.   





Thank you for your input.

So my daughter and her fiance are wrong in thinking that the navy is also going to provide money for them to buy food. If he is away, is there any income for her to continue paying her bills, food, and other necessity? 



Well I think married enlisted are paid at a higher rate than single enlisted so that evens it out a little. I don't know anything for certain, but I think the single enlisted guys get BAS which "pays" for meals at the mess hall. So it shows up on their pay but is deducted right back out.

He is still getting paid while he is gone and it is possible he would be getting extra sea pay. So she would have that income to pay the bills, they would just have to budget which is a good idea anyway.  He wouldn't need much money while underway. 

What is his job do you know?

His is a coreman

I'm a little confused still on the BAS after reading about it.

Their particular scenerio is to be living in a military housing community that is 7 miles from his base.  Is that considered living on base since it is military housing even though it is not actually on the base. 

I am reading that if there is no chow hall that he will be eating at then he gets a BAS of around 300.  Does that stop if they are living in this military housing community?



Your base pay depends on your paygrade and how long you have been in. 

Your housing allowance (BAH) depends on if you are single or have dependents (whether it is a spouse, a child, or a spouse and multiple children - it doesn't matter who or how many dependents you have, just if you have them, and, in the case of single parents, if they live with you, but that's a whole other issue that gets a bit complicated...).  BAH rates are also affected by your paygrade and by what zip code your duty station is in... So, an E-8 with dependents living in San Diego (high cost of living) would get a lot more BAH than a single E-5 living in, say, West Virginia (yes, there's a Navy base there...).

BAS is given to Sailors - single or with dependents, based on whether or not they are authorized / expected to eat in the galley or chow hall.  If they are living in the barracks or underway, they get free meals.  If they are living in housing or out in town (authorized, not just "sneaking" and doing it), then they get BAS.

When they are deployed, they lose their BAS, but if they have dependents, after 30 days gone, they get Family Sep pay.

They also get Sea pay, and, depending on where they are, they can be in a Tax Free zone (meaning that they do not have to pay federal taxes on their pay).  They could also be getting Haz Duty pay (usually, a "rule of thumb" is if they are in a tax free zone, they are probably getting Haz. Duty pay...)

After they have been in so long, they get a uniform allowance once a year.

There are other special pays and allowances, but these are the basic ones.  Hope this helps :-)

Thank you for all your helpful information.  Really appreciate it. :o)


I'm glad it was able to help some :-)

Also, something to keep in mind is that there are Family Support Groups and other programs (I talked about a bunch of them in another thread here). 

Now, this is based only on my experiences, observations, and on the experiences of many of the spouses that I've worked with over the yrs, and every family has to do what works for them (and there are some that, for various reasons, find it better to go home) but if they do get married, when he does deploy, I would encourage her to NOT go back home.  Because, while families can be very loving and supportive, they don't know exactly what it's like having your spouse deploy (usually), and it can actually contribute to the feelings of isolation and loneliness, where, if they stay at the base where their Sailor is stationed out of, there are all those support groups, programs, and resources, and there are other spouses / families who are going through the same thing.  Also, it is MUCH easier for spouses to get information relayed to them in "face to face" situations such as those FRG meetings - things that can't always be conveyed via internet or phone calls, for OPSEC reasons.   Again, each family has to do what's best for them, and there are some who go home and have it be a positive experience, but for the most part, even for those close to their families, it tends to be easier to adjust to the deployment and have a more positive experience with it (positive being relative...), when they stay where they are and continue their routine and get involved where they are.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to send me a message if you want.  I've been a young Sailor, then a young Navy wife, and now I'm an old Navy wife, married to a crusty old Sailor with a young Sailor of our own as well... I can understand what your daughter and possible son in law are going through, having been in their shoes, but on the other hand, now I have kids who are about their age... ;-)

Thanks. You have been very helpful.

I've read some threads where some young wives or fiances actually waited until the first deployment to get married.  I know that is not going to happen in our daugther's case since December is right around the corner.  Everything is going to be a big ajustment and I guess we'll have to wait and see how she feels about it whenever his deployment does comes.  I've come to learn with all this is that you can only suggest things and if you push too much one way, it mostly likely will cause them to push the other way.  I can only stay neutral and support whatever decision she makes, even though I may not agree with all of them.  She is going to have to learn on her own and maybe what ever advice she been given, she can use if need be.  She is smart and  strongwilled and I am going to have to let her fly away and just let her know that I will be there for her if she needs me.  It's hard, but I am learning that is the only thing I can do.



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