Empty Promises – by HellCat Betty
I absolutely, never in a million years, thought I would say this because I didn’t grow up around military… but I love being a part of the military family. I never knew what I was missing until I had friends like these. People I haven’t even met are helping me through some of the most difficult and trying times in my life, and that’s a beautiful and precious thing. Having the chance to be there for a new military girlfriend or fiance when they miss their man so much it hurts is an honor and a gift… because someone, somewhere was there for me when I needed it. It is a stressful, crazy, heartbreaking world we belong to as military families. But it has changed my life and I wouldn’t trade even a second of the Army’s bullshit for all of the things I have gained from becoming a part of this larger military family.
That said, when I talk to other spouses/girlfriends/fiances/moms and dads of servicemembers and they feel like they have little information, a shaky support system, and very few people that really understand or can help, I find it incredibly frustrating. And I have felt all of those things myself. I absolutely believe that we as a nation and as a society, do not do nearly enough to help our military servicemembers. But in addition to that, I see a desperate need from military families for SUPPORT and guidance.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to a girlfriend who doesn’t know what country her boyfriend is in, or mothers who don’t receive even the most basic information about the status of their sons. Yes, OPSEC is a factor, and yes, it is important… but people aren’t getting information that is not classified nor has any bearing and the safety and security of our men and women serving overseas. They’re not getting information that will serve to make their lives a little more peaceful and secure while they’re struggling through yearlong deployments alone. These people and these families are scared, and little is being done to help because our nation as a whole doesn’t realize there’s even an issue.
We’re just now starting to hear more in the media about the suicide rate among service members, and people are waking up to the reality that we are not only losing our young men and women to wars, but also to emotional battles that silently rage inside those brave people when they return home to their daily lives. But what about those left behind? What about the wife that sits alone in her house crying because she doesn’t know how to handle all of the added responsibility of taking care of the house, the bills, the kids, while her husband is away? And because the stress of missing her partner is just sometimes too much to bear. What about those people? When do they get the service, care, and information that they need?
For the most part, I steer clear of discussing my political ideals on social networking sites and I don’t rant about them in my blog. I am fairly liberal in the world of the military spouse which makes me an anomaly. I voted for Obama and I like him. But I have also been sorely disappointed at the lack of action that has been taken to help our military families… especially after the First Lady’s commitment to the topic when her husband was running for office. I was excited to see that she intended to make military families her special project, but I have been let down by the back patting and lip service that has not proven to be accompanied by ACTION. Military families don’t need more “thank you’s” and “God bless you’s”… we need help and support. And we need it now.
*** Guest poster HellCat Betty allowed us to post this on Left Face ***