Will and I got married for the extra $1452 Navy pay

I'm glad to know she married an actual friend. Sometimes those love/hate friendships are the only thing that can keep your chin up when you're pulling your 800th "hey you!" detail. I would rather see an entire ship full of people married to good friends, who are well supported during deployment, than sailors with emotionally dependent spouses and multiple children, many of whom would be devastated by the truth of what some really do whilst separated by duty. Thank you, Maggie, for exposing the truth. I was in the Army for four years, in an extremely high stress environment. I saw young people far away from home, stressed out of their minds, clinging to and marrying the first person who gave them a shoulder to de-stress on -- some less than a month after meeting. I watched more than half of them likewise wind up in very ugly divorces within a year or few, sometimes after children were born and the realities of starting a family with someone they didn't even really know REALLY sank in. The military is supposed to set such a high moral standard for the rest of the country, but in fact -- it's very structure makes people take less than highbrow options. Marriages to have a nice warm bed, one's own groceries, etc. Marriages because a person is scared, lonely, and 3000 miles from home. Marriages because lower-enlisted base pay is not a "dignified living" for anyone. Marriages to get posted in the same hemisphere as one's latest love/lust interest. Shotgun marriages because people thought their lust was more important than birth control. You name it. Bad pay, less than ideal billeting, and loneliness got me engaged three times in four years. Eighteen years later, I talk to a lot of vets who are positively gobsmacked to hear that I have never been married and have zero children -- some actually question whether or not I was really in the Army. I can name at least a dozen off the top of my head who say I was crazy for *NOT* finding some buddy to marry just for the BAH/BAS and tax break. You're not alone -- it's TACITLY ENCOURAGED.
— May 10, 2008 2:37 a.m.