- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ms. Vicki,

It’s been a nightmare since my husband joined the Army. I don’t like it at all because of the way he is treated. I know it’s because of his rank.

He is a private first class and he is very smart. Instead of going straight to college, he decided to join the Army, serve his country at get his college paid for. He has not been crying about it and he has been taking everything like a man. I’m still proud of him.

I just don’t like how everyone talks to the PFC. Why do they have to talk so down to them? I’ve even been in places with my husband, enjoying his company, and some crazy sergeant or other officer comes up and trash talks him.

Ms. Vicki, I’m not used to this. My mother is a lawyer and my father is an anesthesiologist. I’m not saying I am better, but I was raised with more respect. In the Army, it’s not like that. Everything is about rank and who has the most. Well, my husband has none.

He is scheduled to leave for Afghanistan in January. I’m very worried because he has to go and fight with a unit that does not respect him, so what’s going to happen to my husband? I could be a very young widow. I’m not sure what to do. — Becky in Maryland

Dear Becky,

You sound like a young woman who is trying to be supportive of her husband. I’m sorry to hear you are not enjoying Army life because of the way you see your husband being treated.

Calling a young PFC out, when he is away from work and with his wife, is uncalled for. Obviously, some of these people are using their rank inappropriately. This is all the more reason for you and your husband to hang in there and be strong for each other.

Your husband will be deploying soon, so a wellness plan to help you survive deployment is important. Your plan should include emotional support, spiritual support and physical support, such as exercise, etc.

Please don’t let this one aspect of what you have experienced in the Army taint the whole picture. There are many good people out there who will be supportive and good to both of you. Keep in touch and let me be a part of your plan to help you cope with deployment and Army life.

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I need your help. My husband is in the Air Force and has been for 10 years. We have been married for 12 years. I’m a registered nurse, I earn a decent salary working at the base hospital and I’m very happy with my job.

My husband and I had worked out a budget about two years ago and we were following a great plan to debt elimination, or so I thought. I realize I have been too trusting with my husband and giving him too much freedom with his life and our finances.

I knew my husband went to strip clubs with the fellas and I had no problem with that because I trust him. I recently discovered, however, that he has amassed more than $20,000 in debt from going to the strip clubs in four months! He established a credit card without my knowledge and has run it up to the limit.

What am I going to do now? When I think of these women profiting off of my hard-earned money it makes me want to scream. — Stripped by Strippers

Dear Stripped,

Twenty thousand dollars? This is terrible. Well, because you are married, his debt becomes your debt. I’m not saying you have to be the one to pay the bill, but it affects you, too. My first suggestion would be for your husband to get a second or third job to pay off this debt. Let’s hope he will be so busy working that he won’t have time to visit the clubs.

Your husband took the bait big time. These women know how to work the crowd and work the men, too. Let me be honest with you; $20,000 in four months? He has been getting something other than a lap dance or two. He obviously has been paying someone’s bills or something, but this is your husband’s fault for being so naive.

This is not fair to you and I’m not blaming you, but you have to play a part in getting this issue settled. I think you should contact your Airmen and Family Readiness office on base. They have trained consultants and financial counselors who can help you.

This also is a great time for you and your husband to get some marital counseling. He also should consider individual counseling. I wish you all the best. Keep in touch.

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