Clearing up Family Support questions

Hi everyone,
I'm starting to work through my emails as we're getting settled. 
I've received a lot of messages asking about family support in the Legion. 

Before I continue, please remember what the Legion Étrangère is: a military formed of fighting men from all over the world who've given up EVERYTHING in their past lives make a new life for themselves. The Legion was created for single men and they treat all legionnaires with less than 5 years service as that. 

Can you see where this is going? The Legion is not a place that considers families. Of course with 5 years service and rank, you can get housing, planned vacation. But at the foundation is this idea of Legion first, family and personal life second. 

With that in mind , the Legion doesn't provide family support. There are sports activities on base for families and they have 1-2 events per year when the base is open to public. 

Most wives and children stay in their home countries for the first five years until the legionnaire can ask to live off base.  Most people wait until Sergeant or higher to bring their family once they've already been approved for and have their housing. 
Consider supporting a wife and children with 1600-1800€ / month, when you are gone 5-9 months minimum of the year. And you're not joining the Legion to sit on base all day, so assuming you'll ask for trainings , deployments and security patrols (see France's state of emergency), you can expect to be gone even longer. 

I came to France not married,  no children, and already with my degree and experience in my career. I came to France for myself, and seeing S was a bonus. If you see it like that , you can enjoy the experience. If you come expecting a 9-5 job that hubby will be home every night and helping with the kids, you will be disappointed. If you come thinking you'll get a job easily and be relaxing with a bottle of wine and a baguette, you'll be disappointed. If you come thinking you can get your paperwork sorted in 4-6 months and everything will fall in line, you will be disappointed (and angry from time to time!).

I hope this message isn't too harsh, but I feel that my past posts have maybe given a view of the Legion too "happy" and "family oriented". We made it positive and family oriented for ourselves , the Legion has done us no favors. Even with all the reading and preparation that we did together before S left, we knew that 99% of our experience would be unknown and new territory, IMPOSSIBLE to anticipate and often frustrating. But isn't that the allure of the Legion? Isn't that the mystery and the adventure we are all looking for?

I am looking into forming a WhatsApp , Skype or similar chat closed group where we can all share our experiences, thoughts and questions. I hope this could become a forum where other women can share their experiences and legionnaires can participate too in this way, people can see the comments and read through to get more  information faster (I know I'm slow writing back because of my personal commitments!). I've heard from many women and men who are just looking for a support system where they'll find up to date information. I will have a time every week where I will be "live" to answer your specific questions or to just to talk.

Does this interest you? Please comment on this post and let me know what your think! If there is enough interest I'll work on getting it started this week!

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