Militaryspouse.com has an article up right now about Elizabeth Pearsall, an Air Force wife who they dubbed “Doctor Milspouse”. Pearsall earned her PhD in medicinal biochemistry while married to a military man. Vivian Greentree also earned her PhD while in a military relationship and is now the research and policy director for Blue Star Families (Role Model Kathy Roth-Douquet is the CEO of Blue Star Families).
This line from the article interested me: “According to the Military Family Life Project, 10 percent of military spouses report having a master’s degree, MBA or similar professional degree. It’s almost equal to what the Census Bureau reports for all Americans—proving that military spouses, who often face geographic interruptions and deployments, still manage to earn higher education degrees at about the same pace as civilians.” I am glad to know that military spouses are not deterred from pursuing a graduate education because of their husband’s work. Finding a passion and pursuing it through graduate school can be a great way to establish your own interests separate from just being a military wife/girlfriend.
Like most things on the Internet though, the comments on the article worry me. One commentor wrote:
“Good article. Makes me feel more included to know I am not alone in having multiple degrees and working outside the home and following my dreams. I am a proud professional army wife, and its hard to find people who not only are like me but also understand the time it took me to build my career and that it isn’t all about the soldier and the army, that I can do something important too.” (Sidenote: I am hoping that this site will be a way for other women to realize they are not alone in following their dreams and building their own career!)
Here are the scariest comments though: The first wrote, “I have my JD and work full time as an attorney. I completed my schooling before my husband and I got married. Professional, working spouses are few and far between here and I am often ostracized because I went to school and work. However, my husband is enlisted, so it may be more prevalent in the officer world.” An officer’s wife replied: “Oh it’s alive and well in the officer world. I’m a ‘freak’ because I have a masters (2 actually), work outside the home and can’t volunteer all the time for things. So I get snubbed a lot of the time. Kind of sad and kind of why I have friends from all over the place as I stick with those who accept me for who I am.”