One thing I thought before I came in the Army was that all I would be doing is training and doing things like that, wouldn't be able to have a family and have time. But once I've been in I've found out there's a lot of time that is devoted for the family.
I'm Staff Sergeant Brad Sperling; I'm a 21B Combat Engineer. I'm married with two kids and I live on-post. My wife and I we had our kids while I was in the Army which was a great benefit it was very inexpensive where my sisters were spending thousands of dollars having babies and I spent $35.00 dollar on one and $25.00 on the second one.
The military hospitals that my children were born in are great, they're part of my community, they are Soldiers, so they take care of you, I think a little better than a civilian out in the outside world.
Here on-post we have on-post childcare, which again is a big expense to most of my friends back home, but for me it's not as large of an expense.
We get 30 days of paid vacation every year. It's a big quality of life issue for us that we get time with our family so that we can enjoy them. And a lot of times I'll get off work at 5:00 o'clock and that's plenty of time to go home and be able to spend the evening with the kids. You know whether it be playing games or watching TV or just sitting outside.
The post has an on-post water park and they got all kinds of activities the lazy rivers and the slides and the pools. So it's really a great benefit cause its right here on-post you don't have to worry about it being too crowded or it cost too much.
Another feature we have here is the miniature Golf and it's great because it's right beside the water park and it gets the kids out of the house.
Another great thing about here on-post is we have our own indoor pool; it's open for myself and my family. So my family can come here with me for free. My wife loves the fact that I'm in the Army cause there are so many benefits, there's no mortgage payment, there's no property tax, there's no utilities.
Joining the Army at 17, I'll be able to retire when I'm 37 and the day after I retire from the Army I'll have my retirement check for the rest of my life.
The Army is a huge part of my life and my life is a huge part of the Army.