We all know that being in the military and being a military spouse is not easy. Understatement of the year.
I’m often surprised to discover that my military spouse friends don’t know about many of the opportunities available to them. I wanted to provide a way for all of them to learn more about the vast array of opportunities available for military families, and I wanted to extend that to all of you!
So I’ve put together a list just for you…and you…and you! Maybe you have heard of these, maybe you have not. Regardless, I present my list of 11 military perks you may not know about!
VetTix is an amazing organization that provides FREE tickets to military families to concerts, sporting events, theatre, rodeos, family events, and more. And, yes, I said FREE!! You just pay a small cover fee per ticket (about $5).
The military member will need to create an account on the VetTix site. Then they can select the events they are interested in, and they’ll receive email notifications when tickets are available. After that, you submit to receive tickets. Some events do have limited tickets so you’ll be entered in a lottery. But most events have a lot of tickets available. Recently, I was able to get tickets to see Hootie and the Blowfish and Carrie Underwood. My family has also gotten tickets to the PGA and WWE wrestling (can you tell I’m a #boymom?). What a great military perk!
Yellow Ribbon Events are available to members of the Air Force who are getting ready to go on a deployment. These are events that take place in a variety of cities across the country. The military member and their families are eligible to attend one event pre-deployment and two events post-deployment. These events are absolutely FREE and childcare is provided (always a bonus).
Each weekend involves the member and their spouse being able to attend multiple talks and sessions that offer information on nearly everything: finances, drawing up a will, Tricare information, even information on how to create a resume and apply for jobs on USAJobs. You attend the seminars during the day and have the late afternoon/early evenings to yourself to explore the city you are in.
It’s a great experience filled with a LOT of helpful information and is a great way to connect before and after a deployment. This is a military perk that is also beneficial for your family. For more information on Yellow Ribbon events, contact your base Airman and Family Readiness office.
Military.com is a fantastic resource for military families. They provide information on benefits, veteran jobs, and military life; they also cover topics regarding spouses and families. Navigate over to their page that lists a variety of discounts that are available to military members and their families. They range from restaurants to airlines, grocery stores, travel discounts, amusement parks, and so much more. There are more places that offer military perks than you would think!
I am the Key Spouse for my husband’s unit and I’m often surprised when I make my deployment phone calls at how many of the spouses have not heard of Military One Source.
I feel that it is really one of the most valuable resources out there for military families. Especially during a deployment.
Military One Source offers a number of FREE resources for the members and their families. They offer free counseling services, books, and DVDs for children about deployments and homecomings (including one by Sesame Street); resources on finances and educational information; health and wellness resources; and housing and relocation assistance.
Military One Source also has a call center and online support for consultations on a wide range of issues from everyday concerns to deployment-related issues. Their counseling services are confidential, non-medical services that are available face to face, by telephone and through secure online chat or real-time video addressing issues requiring short-term attention. This page HERE has a great summary of all the services they provide.
Your On Base Travel Agency
You may already be aware that you can receive military discounts for travel and amusement parks such as Disney World, etc. But did you know you can get discount tickets on base? In fact, if your base has a travel agency, it’s often cheaper to buy the tickets through them, than it is directly through that hotel or amusement park you’re looking to visit.
This past Spring my family took a trip to Legoland in Florida. I bought the tickets through our base travel agency because they were so much cheaper. A normal two-day pass including the water park is $130 online. We got ours for only $75 by purchasing them on base! If you buy tickets at the gate, it’s only a 10% discount, so it’s not worth it. Your base travel agency may also offer discounts to local festivals, water parks, national parks, Disney, and much more!
Make sure to check out your local travel or ticket office. They often have excursions and specials that cater to your area, and the price difference is always worth the trip! See what other military perks they can offer!
This is another website that shows you what benefits and discounts are available to military members and their families. They also help the military member navigate what State and Federal discounts and benefits may be available to them. The site also lists prescription drug information, travel rewards and protection, job information, and every day discounts at stores, restaurants, and more.
Did you know that there a quite a lot of summer camps designed specifically for military families? And some of them are even FREE or offer scholarships and discounts.
Doing a quick google search will definitely bring up some results but first, you should check out our post HERE that boasts information on a variety of summer camps for our military kids. Some of the camps available are Operation Purple Camp, Armed Services YMCA, Camp Corral, American Wanderer Summer camp, Military Teen Adventure Camps, Camp Yellow Ribbon, Semper Fi Fund Kids Camps and Channel 3 Kids Camp. You should also ask your local summer camp if they offer a military discount or scholarships.
This is another website that offers great discounts. Govx.com offers discounts from companies like Underarmor, Vortex Optics, Oakley, Yeti, Garmin, and The North Face. They also share ticket and travel deals for sporting events, endurance races, Govx travel, and theme parks. On top of that, they offer apparel and gear at discounted rates.
Cell Phone Companies
Did you know that most of the major cell phone companies provide military discounts? Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular all offer discounts. We have Verizon and our military discount is better than the discount we could get through my company!
Military cell phone discounts are also a great military perk because you can usually get a discount no matter what plan you have. Whereas, a company discount (like the one I work for) might only be available on specific plans. Check out The Military Wallet for some great information on cell phone providers and their military discounts.
We may all know about the G.I. Bill, V.A. loans, and military Tuition Assistance Program. But did you also know there is quite a wide variety of scholarships available to military members and their families? There are specific scholarships set up for military spouses, military kids, and the member themselves. There are also grants available. On top of that, the Tuition Assistance Program is starting to offer assistance for Master’s Degrees. Aside from specific organizations that offer military scholarships, ALWAYS check with your child’s potential/current college or university to see what they offer. It never hurts to ask!
Nowadays, most places will offer some type of military discount to their patrons. You’d be surprised at the number of restaurants, parks, festivals, amusement parks, movie theaters, etc. that offer them. There are more than you know! I always say that it never hurts to ask when you go out somewhere if they have a military perk or discount. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how many “yes’s” you will receive.