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Military Life: Newsflash-The Entitlement Mentality Is Hurting YOU!

As a military spouse I thought I had seen it all…and then I did.

The other day I was actually embarrassed not only for myself but for all military spouses out there. I was at an event that was being put on for military families, a community giving back to those who serve saying thank you for all that we do. It was a great event until all of a sudden there was a commotion near the entrance on the other side of the room.

A fellow spouse was “up in arms” because there were no longer any door prizes available for her or her children. Now I feel I have to mention that she was an hour late and the invite specifically stated prizes were first come first serve while quantities last, but I guess that was besides the point for this military spouse. She wanted her loot and she was hell-bent on getting it.

Quickly I watched as various other spouses jumped in, offering their prize bags to the distraught women and her kids – heck milspouses are like that – we take care of our own right? They said things like my 2 can share so yours can have one, etc etc. Of course she took them – with an “I knew I’d win” kind of look thrown the way of the poor girl behind the sign in table. And then it happened…the thing that I never thought would happen.

She gathered her kids and her loot and left. Didn’t stay for the program or to browse the event. Didn’t stay to thank or get to know the other spouses who so generously helped her out. Just took and ran…leaving us all open mouthed and appalled. Heck I’m still fuming even days later!

Does she not realize that the people putting on this event spent time/money trying to give back? Maybe she didn’t get that her behavior reflects on our entire community, or maybe she was just having a bad day. I’m trying not to judge because we’ve all had days when we don’t put our best foot forward, but SHEESH with this one I can’t even give her the benefit of the doubt. Her behavior was unacceptable and embarrassing to the rest of us.

But the saddest part of it all was the conversation I was part of at the end of the event with the organizers. They didn’t recall the spouse who had been having a rough deployment and this event facilitated her meeting some new battle buddies, they didn’t focus on all the people they inspired and helped. Instead they questioned if it was worth all the trouble when people only wanted to use them for their “stuff”. Yes one bad apple hurts us all…

Since when do people believe they are entitled to be taken care of – manners and gratitude be damned? Do they forget that no one owes us anything (Ok maybe the government officials who have chosen not to #keepyourpromise to our troops -but that’s a post for another day) or is it that they really do believe that their behavior is acceptable as long as they get what they want?

Well I have something to say to those of you who believe that serving entitles you to anything…

  • Your behavior is ruining a good thing and hurting the rest of us – especially those milfamilies really in need!
  • The organizations that give back to the military do so of their own accord, and we should be grateful for anything that they do on our behalf.
  • Your whispers of how stupid a goodie bag or how cheap a meal is are heard. Trust me they are and they are hurtful. The organizers spend a lot of time, money and effort to do the best to honor you and your family. Respect that!
  • Do I really need to remind you that these people don’t HAVE to do anything for us? They are trying to be nice and give back and your catty rude behavior puts a bad taste in their mouths making us all look bad
  • Remember your manners! “Thank you” and “I appreciate you” are all that these organizations are looking for so stop acting like a child who doesn’t know how to behave.

Newsflash to all the “I’m entitled because my spouse serves” people

STOP IT, BEFORE YOU RUIN IT FOR THE REST OF US!

 

~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and lifestyle blogger as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up  and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com

9 Comments

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As...the Wife

    Ugh…this is one of my biggest pet peeves regardless of someone’s affiliation. I don’t understand why people cannot be appreciative of someone’s hard work and effort. I’ve been to military support events before that haven’t gone according to plan but I always remind myself that it’s the thought that counts, their hearts were in the right place.

    Sometimes I wonder if I’m in the minority on this thought…glad to see I’m in good company. 🙂

    • Judy Davis - The Direction Diva

      Thanks for the comment Jennifer, and I agree it’s always the thought that counts when the community reaches out to support us. They have no idea of our life and only want to help as best they can! From the responses and shares I KNOW we have a lot of company on this one :)!

  • reccewife

    oooh, I so relate to this. I had a small fit when I came across a car in our new city that had a bumper sticker that read “I proudly served in the Canadian Army.” and then under it said “You’re Welcome”.
    I mean, what a douche! And THAT’S the military that people are going to remember. The loud idiots make it worse for all of us.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Casey

    Oh, yes, the ones who think they deserve a badge. Or, in this case, a bag. And they will knock you over to get it. Then the rest of us have to be somehow “more meek” or “more humble” to make up for their loutishness, when we are really just tired and sore at heart and could really use the break or the nice thing that people are trying to do.

  • Melissa

    Entitled attitudes are so frustrating to me, inside or outside of the military community. I’m so sorry that this event was tainted by one sour apple, and that the organizers were discouraged by that one person’s behavior. Just one more reminder for the rest of us to say “thank you” when we appreciate what others do, or when we enjoy an event that’s put on for our benefit.

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