Author: LTC Vicki Hudson USAR (Ret) writes about her wife, Monika Poxon, and her military spouse ID card.
Two months before I retired from military service, my wife of ten years received her military dependent identification card. Hayward, California is not a military city. An Army Reserve training base is 20 miles away. The Coast Guard has an installation two towns over. The Air Force is two hours away. There’s no base movie theater, or commissary and the PX is a trailer. Finally attaining her dependent ID was perhaps more important for the principle of the issue, than the practicality of having one.
Then, I started to notice something. We’re at the grocery and the clerk asks for photo ID. My wife whips out the military dependent card. Checking in for a flight at the airport when I ask for her driver’s license, she hands over her dependent ID card. We pass through TSA security and after the agent thanks me for my service, thanks my wife for her support. She walks into a USO with me and we no longer wonder if we’ll have to debate her eligibility to enter. She proudly says “yes, thank you” when I’m asked if I’d like the military discount and presents the dependent ID on behalf of our family when we are at dinner. Any opportunity that presents for a military identification card, she proudly presents hers.
I’m grateful that if I was still serving and called up again, I would no longer need to worry about how would my wife access the benefits my dependents would be due. That this time, we would not have to get a special authorization letter for her to shop at a commissary and that her shopping cart would not be audited at check out for items not related to our child. For you see, the last time I was on active duty and she was not yet acknowledged as a dependent but our child was listed as my dependent; she was told if she wanted to buy something and the checkout clerk didn’t think it would be used for the child, my wife would be unable to make the purchase.
I’m grateful that if I was still serving and deployed overseas that my wife would be able to enter a military installation easily, be able to take advantage of legal support, or medical care, or get help from finance all because that little plastic card and its accompanying enrollment into DEERS meant that my wife was fully acknowledged as a member of the Army family.
For so many years, she was invisible. That ID card is her earned badge of honor.