Military mama: Discounts not expected, but appreciated

Whenever I have a question about anything, I always have my go-to gals, and 95 percent of the time (if I’m not already on the phone with my mom or sister) I will be seeking a solution from another military spouse. So often we put our trust into this extended military-family as we PCS.

Everything from childcare, salons, dentists, restaurants and mechanics are important finds with each relocation. Reputation can truly be everything.

Some of the veteran spouses in the area know the ins and outs far better than many of the actual ‘locals.’ As military families we tend to have similar ideas of service and value in mind because we have lived anywhere and everywhere. We speak of our experiences, positive or negative (merchants be warned). We certainly note those that offer a military special or discount. This is not something to be expected or demanded, by any means. However, it is very much appreciated.

Some military spouse interactions I’ve witnessed have left me feeling the need to apologize on behalf of the ‘rest of us.’ A military discount is a business decision. The sacrifice in potential profit is a leap of faith, made up only by the quantity of repeat customers. This is why I always try to support any businesses that support us.

I recently overheard a customer belittle another when the first woman asked about a military discount. “What do you do that is so great that you deserve a discount? You’re not in the service your husband is!” My jaw dropped. The woman questioned had a tired child in her arms and a look of exhaustion that in that moment defined her ‘occupation’ as a military spouse. She responded succinctly, “I asked a simple question. Now if you want to send your husband overseas to fight for our country so you can save 10 percent too, be my guest.”

I wanted to applaud. I wanted to give the military wife a hug, because she kept her cool.

This situation made me realize I am representing a much larger group of people by association. If I choose to act poorly and be demanding or condescending then it may reflect on a totally innocent newcomer in the future. This military spouse took the high road. It was truly impressive.

I would just like to issue a challenge to everyone reading this. Instead of only sharing negative personal experiences, why not recommend businesses that had customer service that surpassed your expectations. We can do more good by choosing to support those businesses that offer a positive experience.