Currently my husband is a reservist, so I’m sure the “wife life” of active duty members is different, but I have nothing bad to say about the lifestyle. With reserves, he only has to report for one weekend each month. We live outside of the normal travel radius, so he stays on base each duty weekend. At our current base, he stays in the Inn most of the time so it’s really convenient for him. If he procrastinates on getting his reservation, he may have to stay at a hotel outside of the base, but it’s always been within 15 minutes of the base. I’ve even been able to go and stay with him before we had our son. This was when I would do my grocery shopping too. It worked out really well, because Sunday morning, I would drop him off at the shop, and then go back to the hotel and get ready, check-out, and then do my grocery shopping. We always took a cooler with us for the cold stuff.
As for benefits, I cannot talk highly enough about them. My husband and I worked for his mom and step-dad’s company and didn’t get any health benefits. We were paying to insure ourselves, which was VERY expensive. With reserves, you do pay for insurance, but it’s nothing near what we used to pay. Anytime he goes on orders for 90 days or more, we get free insurance just as we would if he were full-time active duty. We don’t get sick very often, but anytime I’ve needed a prescription, it’s only cost me around $3! Dental is a separate policy that we haven’t taken out but probably will when our son is old enough to start going. Yearly eye exams are covered, but not any glasses or contacts.
During times of active duty, such as my husband’s deployment, the Airmen and Family Readiness group has been very helpful and kept me in the loop of base events going on. There’s also an app that our base uses, called MyMC2 that has a calendar of events that definitely helps me stay in the loop, especially since we don’t live very close to the base.
I definitely recommend reserves to anyone who wants great benefits and great experience for a civilian job!