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Barbie: Bad for Girls and Boys

In case you missed it, Barbie did it again.

Made us cringe. Made us face palm. Made us wonder if the execs at Mattel really look at the products they sell.

Earlier this month blogger Pamela Ribon wrote a fabulous piece about the children’s book, “Barbie, I Can Be a Computer Engineer.” Find the full blog here: http://gizmodo.com/barbie-f-cks-it-up-again-1660326671

Strong language aside, she’s spot on. When you first see the book, you think, heck, yes! Let’s teach girls to embrace math and science. And then you open the book to find out that Barbie does neither of those things. Instead, she relies on two boys to help rescue her when she can’t figure out how to repair her laptop – even after her professor tells her how to do it.

Instead, she resorts to a playful pillow fight with her sister while the boys do all the work.

Gaaahh.

I don’t fault Barbie for seeking help. I wouldn’t see a problem if the boys had walked Barbie through the steps and taught her how to do it herself rather than just came to her rescue and did it for her.

But seriously, why are we teaching our girls, and our boys for that matter, that they need rescued? Why can’t we teach them to learn, to ask questions, to take part rather than sit back and let someone else do it for them?

I think I would be just as furious if Barbie had let her fabulous, brunette, computer-savvy, female friend do all the work while she sat back on her heels. Sure, computer is fixed but how does that help Barbie for more than the immediate moment?

Teach your children, boys and girls to learn, to question, to seek to help themselves. Show them and help them understand, don’t just do the tasks for them. Take the time to sit with them and help them work through their homework, not just complete it.

Our girls, and our boys, deserve to live in world where they can be anything they want because we are willing to teach them and, in return, expect greatness. Not because we are willing to bail them out when it gets difficult.

 Ribon’s original blog, and the subsequent online clamoring from angry moms drew this response from Mattel on Barbie’s Facebook page:

“The Barbie I Can Be A Computer Engineer book was published in 2010. Since that time we have reworked our Barbie books. The portrayal of Barbie in this specific story doesn't reflect the Brand's vision for what Barbie stands for. We believe girls should be empowered to understand that anything is possible and believe they live in a world without limits. We apologize that this book didn't reflect that belief. All Barbie titles moving forward will be written to inspire girls’ imaginations and portray an empowered Barbie character.”

We will see. Until then, I can empower and inspire my children without Barbie’s help.

Websites We Love: Black Friday Discount Lists

What is better than getting a great Black Friday deal? Getting the deal and an additional military discount on top!

Savvy shoppers are already combing the online ads for the best Black Friday deals. As a military member or spouse, be certain to not just look for the best deals offered on Friday, but also what stores are offering a military discount on top of those deals, shrinking your total cost even more.

Thanks to our friends at The Frugal Girls.com who track all money saving deals for military and civilian all year round. They’ve put together a good list of businesses that offer military discounts on a regular basis. Check with your local branch of these national chains to see if they offer them throughout the year and are offering them in addition to Black Friday savings.

http://thefrugalgirls.com/military-discounts

 

This website regularly tracks discounts offered to military throughout the year and Black Friday is no exception.

http://militarydiscountsonline.com/black-friday-cyber-monday-deals

 

You won’t get an extra discount but you also won’t pay tax. Don’t forget to look over the Black Friday sales at your local military NEX or PX or BX. Depending on your duty station, the crowds at these stores may be smaller too.

http://www.theblackfriday.com/MilitaryBX-blackfriday.shtml

http://www.theblackfriday.com/navy-exchange-blackfriday.shtml

 

Perhaps your biggest ally this Friday if you are a serious shopper may be the website,

www.bfads.net

This is an entire page dedicated to tracking the latest Black Friday shopping news, store offerings, coupons and prices. You can shop by store or item. The site also lists coupon codes, pre- and post- Black Friday sales down to the minute that the sale begins and ends as well as tells you what programs you can sign up for at each store to earn points and more free product.

Happy Shopping!

 

How Using Outlines for Academic Writing Can Save Your Sanity

Recently, a student in search of an editor for a research paper contacted me. During our initial consultation, I asked her for her working outline. Much to my sadness, rather than handing me a piece of paper, she responded with an expression usually reserved for individuals stricken with deep confusion.

And when I say “deep confusion,” I mean a complete and total loss of functional thought.

Basically, I was stared at as though an extra arm had sprouted from my forehead. My sadness was because, in the land of research and academia, it doesn’t matter if you are writing a five- or fifty-page paper. Having an outline is the key to success.

Let me say it again, so that I’m very, very clear: outlines are crucial to the academic writing process.

Think of your paper as a dresser. Dressers have drawers, right? And we use those drawers to separate our clothing so we are able to get dressed with minimal confusion- underwear and socks from the top drawer, a shirt from the middle drawer and a pair of pants from the bottom drawer.

That makes sense, right? So if we organize our clothes, our silverware and other simple objects, why wouldn’t we organize our thoughts?

Mind blown. 

So, to continue the flow of awesome, I’m going to give you a few resources to help jumpstart your inner outlining genius:

1.  Every writing program (Word, Pages, etc.) has a variety of bullet point styles and outline templates built into the software. Once you’ve figured out the way you want your headings and subheadings set up (and sell your soul for the instructions to format them without going completely bonkers) it’s all plug and play!

2.  If you want to get really fancy, you can look online for even more templates! Google, Microsoft, and a variety of academically owned websites have these templates and examples for download. Be very careful when you are choosing sites to download from, though, and use only reputable web locations. Ain’t nobody got time for a sucky virus that will crash your hard drive.

3.  The Purdue OWL website has several explanations and examples of academic research outlines, and even a nifty PowerPoint presentation available free for download. You can check them out here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/544/03/

      This site has saved my scholarly booty on more than a few occasions, but that’s a topic for another day.  

So there you go! Writing a research paper can be as simple as getting dressed!

Okay, not really. But, when it comes down to brass tacks, taking the time to create a functional list of topics to be addressed and your plan to address them will likely save you hours of work. Hours that can be spent doing other things. And, hours saved are a precious commodity for any student!

 

When the Homefront Goes Back to Work

On any given day at my house, you might find stacks of school uniform outfits, laid out on a dresser in a row; piles of bagged, cut carrots in the fridge; sticky notes covering the coffee pot, or a grocery bag on my front door, containing an extra leotard and tights, accompanied by a quick text regarding its whereabouts.

This is what a two-career house looks like. And as more and more military spouses join the workforce this is what the homefront is beginning to look like.

Since my husband is not currently deployed or gone for training, after his work day is done, he often plays Mr. Mom while I work.

Our daughter chooses from the outfits for herself and he packs the carrots in her lunch.

The grocery bag on the door? That’s for days when even the best laid plans go awry. Long duty hours for him and long night shifts for me means sometimes, we forget things. The extra dance clothes hanging on the door for our daughter are there to remedy that situation fast.

As a nurse, my hours at the hospital are long, but I’ve been blessed to find a reliable college-age babysitter/friend who can pick up my daughter after school, help her change and drive her to dance when my husband and I are both at work. And, during deployments and several week-long trainings when I become “quasi single parent,” this sitter has been a God send.

However, this well-oiled machine didn’t always exist.

After years of wanting to go back to school to earn a second degree, I officially began classes in preparation for nursing school during my husband’s first deployment. Our daughter was two-years-old. I had many good friends who helped me during that transitional time of not only attending classes, but also carving out study time. 

I also came to rely on two great resources the Army provides: FCC homes (Family Child Care) and the CDC (Child and Family Development Center). During deployments, both of these entities offer discounted hourly childcare rates and my daughter was not only in good hands, but she was spending time with other children while I was in class. The best part was that all of the times could be scheduled well in advance and I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about where she would go on the morning of my latest big anatomy test. 

Once my husband returned, he was a great help, but even he couldn’t always predict his schedule, so the friends and the Army resources came to my rescue again. Once our daughter started school, things became a bit easier, but that’s when the babysitter hunt began, since we don’t live close enough to base to use the Army services after school.

Our sitter, who is the daughter of a dear soldier friend, helped me through countless weeks of my husband’s out of town trainings, courses and another deployment so that I could finish school, while knowing our daughter was safe and happy.

These days, our sitter still helps out. She does pickups on days that I work, she wrangles our daughter’s hair into a bun and untangles her ballet tights so she can get them on and into first position by 5:30 p.m. I also have a friend who I can drop off my daughter with at 0530 so I can get to work and she can ride to school with their family, if my husband is away. Since her husband is a soldier too, my friend not only understands, but allows me to reciprocate whenever I can. Some days I leave the school with my own daughter and her two, as well.

Besides our fabulous sitter and amazing friends, I find that being organized and planning ahead is the key to the madness of having a military dad and a working mom. I wash and fold like a maniac on my day off. I spend more time on Pinterest and in food magazines than I like to admit, but I’m constantly planning out menus for our family.

My husband is an excellent cook and he provides me with many a delicious meal when I return home after a long shift, but I always keep meals in the freezer and use my crockpot at least weekly for those days when we both arrive home tired and hungry.

And when it’s just “us girls,” our freezer meals are just the right size for the two of us to defrost and eat in front of a movie while we wait for Skype time with Daddy.

Somehow, amidst the craziness of work and school, exercise is another way I survive. With all the planning, washing and driving, I find time for myself by running. Even when my daughter was a baby, I strapped her into the jog stroller, leashed up our dog and hit the sidewalks in our neighborhood. Now, I run either when she’s at school or early in the mornings on the weekends when my husband is home. Running is not just a way to stay active for me, it’s a sanctuary I can go to when my mind just needs to work things through.

Multi-tasking is a way of life for any working family. My cooking usually incorporates homework time with my daughter. Sometimes exercise is done together as a family. Folding and prepping those clothes for the week is often done during family movie time. I’m happy with the way it’s all come together for now.

But soon, our babysitter will graduate from college, another deployment is on the horizon, and I’ll have to “change the oil in our machine.” I’ll never forget how much my friends were there for me in the beginning though, and still are today.

When I think of this crazy Army lifestyle, it reminds me of a line from the old song by the Beatles, “I get by with a little help from my friends…” And, you know? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Own a Business? Don’t be a Jerk on Social Media

Small business owners are at a disadvantage when it comes to advertising. Marketing materials are expensive. Copy space in newspapers, billboards and magazines is usually out of reach.


So, military spouses, stay-at-home moms and entrepreneurs who run their businesses out of their garage turn to Facebook to spread the word, often with a lot of success.

It’s a great place to tell friends about their new business. It’s a great place for their friends’ friends to spread the word.
It’s also a great place to kill your business if you are not careful with your posts.

Last week, the ugly American I profiled, who ranted on about how she felt she deserved access to the base and credit for living near a base as a civilian, posted her soliloquy on her personal Facebook. The right place for it, realistically.

The problem? She owns her own small business and peddles Thirty-One Gifts everywhere she goes. Between her angry rants she also posts upcoming sales and specials on the bags, luggage tags and lunchboxes.

The bigger problem? A huge percentage of her customer base are the very people she was insulting with her venom-filled posts.
And, she leaves her page open to the public so everyone can see her business advertisements. Now, everyone can also see her nasty, insulting comments as well.

And that, friends, is basic business 101. Don’t be a jerk to your customers. They will walk away. And experienced business owners know it.


I sent an email to the folks at Thirty-One Gifts about the consultant’s behavior and within a matter of minutes, received a heart-felt, deeply apologetic letter. Within hours, I received two more, from two more executives, and a phone call.


Robin Hager, Career and Guideline Support at Thirty-One Gifts, wrote in an email, “We try to remind our consultants that when they post something online, that while they are not employees of Thirty-One Gifts, they do represent us, even though it is not our views, it still impacts us as a company.”

Corporate headquarters immediately spun into damage control mode. The local rep? She continue to spit nails and hate at the very people whose backs she built her local business on.

So as a once loyal customer, I copy and pasted her comments and sent them with an apology letter to my friends who I had turned into her customers over the years. They were disgusted. And passed the information on to their friends.

And with one hate-filled post, this small business owner alienated about 100 potential customers. Did it kill her business overnight? No. But eventually, it might.

The National Federation of Independent Business offers a list of dos and don’ts for using a personal Facebook page to promote a small business.
Number four on the list: “There’s no one way to use Facebook. You could start by posting occasional business updates, in case someone ever needs your service, and gauge reactions to them. Personal interests are fine, but avoid posting anything that might turn readers off.”


And send customers away.

Own a small business? Either clean up your personal social media or do not include customers and business associates on your pages.


And if you think your personal opinions and beliefs are something that can’t close your doors, think again.
The families behind the television juggernauts Duck Dynasty, cancelled after the family’s rants on their personal views angered viewers, and 19 Kids and Counting, which is now facing the same fight, might tell you otherwise.

 

Go Team Go! Families are the Best Teammates During Deployment

I took my 3-year-old to her first soccer practice last month. 

It was the little toddler team on the Navy base. Other than ballet, it’s the first organized activity she’s ever done. And it’s definitely the first team sport she’s ever done.

First, the coach rallied them all together and made them pick a team name and taught them a quick cheer. I heard “Go Heroes!” the rest of the way home and on into the following morning.  She loved soccer, even if she still had absolutely no idea how the game was played. She just loved the idea of being part of a team.

And so, after I got my little soccer player and her sister tucked into bed that night, I sat down and exhaled deeply and thought, “Phew! We survived another day of deployment.” And I wasn’t referring to the royal “we,” either. I was literally talking about my two girls and I. We had lived through another day of practice and meals and work and responsibilities and wonky appliances, all without the help of the man of the house. While it was nothing knew, we are at that point where every day survived without broken limbs is an achievement.

So, yes, we did it. My little team of two toddlers, an old dog, and me. It’s funny to think that that’s how I survive. That I carry my girls through this hard time. And sometimes, they carry me.  They are the reason I sleep soundly without him. They are the reason I am busier than busy. They are the reason I get up before the sun every morning.  They’re my teammates. They are in this with me till the end.

While we often don’t wear matching jerseys, and we don’t really have a team cheer, other than, “You have to wear underwear to the dinner table,” we’re still a team.

And while these last few months have been rough, I couldn’t have picked better teammates to survive it with.

December Job Fairs

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. But don’t let the hustle and bustle of the holidays sidetrack your job search.
If you are still jobless, make sure you spend time every day working on finding that job, whether you are sitting down and searching online job sites, filling out applications or hitting the pavement.


There are not many job fairs in December as the holidays approach. And most likely, they may have lighter attendance as people turn their attention toward the celebrations happening around them. Who knows, this may be your chance to stand out in the smaller crowd and win over the recruiters.


Remember to click on the links under the job fair listing and register as soon as possible. If you are not interested in spending your December weekends hobnobbing with recruiters instead of party-goers, then make a resolution you can easily keep: check the 2015 job fair listings now and sign up for one!


For a full list of military spouse job fairs, visit http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/events/hiringfairs

Dec 3
Jacksonville, NC
http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/jacksonville-hiring-fair

San Jose, CA
http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/san-jose-hiring-fair

Dec 9
Recovering warrior and caregiver virtual job fair
http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/recovering-warrior-caregiver-virtual-job-fair

Dec 10
San Antonio, TX
http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/san-antonio-hiring-fair

Dec 11
Las Vegas
http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/las-vegas-veteran-job-fair

Jan 8
Charleston, SC
http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/charleston-hiring-fair
Virtual Job Fair
http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/virtual-job-fair-4

 

Job Searching and Facing the Financial Reality

By Holly Bates

Tick-tock …

Tick-tock …

That’s the sound of the clock in my dining room each day I spend online looking for a federal job and waiting for CPAC to contact me about my dream job, which, at this point, has become any job.

Just when it looked like I needed to get off the computer and put myself out there, I finally received an email from USAJOBS saying I was referred for a job on post. It wasn’t through PPP-Spouse and I didn’t receive the prompt from CPAC to apply for this job. 

It is one I stumbled upon while perusing local positions through USAJOBS. In part, this is because I willingly applied for the job knowing it is a lower grade than I originally wanted.  But, whoohoo! It’s one step closer! 

Finances are getting tighter as the holidays loom closer and closer. My comfort threshold is being pushed, making me nervous each day that I don’t have an income to contribute. I’m one step closer, but now I must anxiously await a call from the hiring manager for an interview. Or, hope I just get a call saying, “Congratulations! We’d like to offer you the job.”

Technically, hiring managers do not have to do interviews. It’s my experience, however, they do it because (a) they get a feel for whether or not the applicant will be a good fit in the office and so that they can verify the information provided on the résumé is correct. 

Let’s face it, every Employment Readiness Program office and personnel specialist advises applicants to copy and paste the job description on FASCLASS into their résumés. Even my hubby came home from his ACAP (Army Career and Alumni Program) class on Applying for a Federal Job talking about FASCLASS. 

In a funny side note, my hubby came home all excited to tell me about FASCLASS. He had just learned it was an awesome resource for writing a federal résumé and wanted to share it as a resource to help me. I had to tell him I already knew all about FASCLASS. In fact, I used it regularly in my job as an admin officer for hiring actions.

What is FASCLASS? 

FASCLASS is a paperless automated record keeping system, which standardizes and simplifies classification and staffing processes while simultaneously providing current position descriptions and organizational structures. It allows you to search a position description (PD) by position title, pay plan, series and grade. In addition to the job announcement, FASCLASS is a useful resource for determining the duties and responsibilities of a job.

And, it is a useful guide to use when writing a résumé. Not only does it include common language used by the USAJOBS automated application system, it may act to remind you of your duties and responsibilities in a previous job. 

A word of caution about simply copying and pasting word-for-word from the FASCLASS PD:  you’ll need to back it up with evidence and actual experience. I’ve heard stories from hiring managers about applicants applying for different positions within the same organization using different PDs copied word-for-word. In other words, they were caught lying about their actual experience.

In the meantime, I haven’t just been sitting in front of the computer all day. While I wait to hear about this new on-post job, I still have a household to maintain. More importantly, I’ve been adding to my résumé through volunteerism. My biggest volunteer commitment is through scouting. I was this year’s popcorn kernel for my son’s Cub Scout pack, meaning I managed thousands of dollars in sales for the group. If there are any other Kernels or Cookie Moms out there, you know the time and responsibility it takes to be a fundraising chair. 

As popcorn kernel, I had many tasks. It was my job to coordinate approval to sell popcorn at various locations on-post and at a local Walmart, plan for and procure the necessary popcorn inventory, staff these show-n-sells (as the BSA calls them) with scouts and parent volunteers, provide training and encourage door-to-door sales, calculate each scout’s contributions to account for various prize levels and threshold’s for annual/monthly pack dues reimbursement, and pickup/distribute the final door-to-door inventory to each scout. I am quite proud of the fact that my efforts resulted in a 250 percent increase from last year in funds raised through popcorn sales. As a result, my efforts were recognized by our local council. 

I was recently asked by our local district executive to become the district chair for the 2015 Friends of Scouting fundraising campaign. I expect this to be challenged by this responsibility, but I’m hoping it will increase my visibility within the community as well as provide additional networking opportunities and possibly lead to a full-time paying job.

As time ticks by and stressors increase, one thing keeps me sane - running. I met my running partner at the 7-mile marker of the Soldier Half-Marathon and ran the last 6.2 miles with her to the finish line. And now we’re training for my first official 13.1 miles - the Red-Nosed Half-Marathon in January. 

I never thought I’d be able to run 10K on a regular basis let alone train for a half-marathon. Yet, this is exactly what I’m doing. In addition to being a natural stress relief, running keeps me in shape. So, when I do get that call for an interview, those suits currently just collecting dust in my closet will still fit me (hopefully, even be a little loose). 

It will be a great start to 2015! 

Finally, the Help That Millions of Family Members Deserve While Caring for Wounded Veterans

Community organizations, legislation and millions of dollars in aid from private corporations have been created to help wounded military warriors.

But the family members, neighbors and friends who often work around the clock to care for them and their injuries serve almost silently, with little aid. A study earlier this year by Rand Health estimates that 5.5 million people work tirelessly across the nation to care for our wounded - these are non-health professionals who are not receiving pay. The group estimates that 20 percent of those people are caring for veterans who served after the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

And these people, are exhausted.

Key points of the study:

- Post- 9/11 military caregivers miss, on average. 3.5 days of work per month, adding to their financial strain

- Nationwide this equals $5.9 billion in lost wages

- The risk for depression for these individuals is four times that of non-caregivers

- More than 30 percent of these caregivers lack health care coverage for their own medical needs

November is National Family Caregivers Month. It may be time to pause and see what we can do for those who continue to care for our warriors after the parades and homecomings are over.

Here are some resources for caregivers of military veterans:

VA Caregiver Support  

http://www.caregiver.va.gov/  

The Department of Veterans' Affairs has an internal department that focuses solely on individuals providing care to veterans. That department can match caregivers with a support coordinator who will help them find out what services they are eligible to receive and what other resources are available. Professionals here will also help caregivers enroll their veteran in an adult day health care center if the veteran is eligible and link them with VA medical staff who will come to the house for medical care.
This is especially helpful for veterans who are unable to travel easily.

Every Wednesday this month, the VA is hosting meditation activities for caregivers. Participants join the program via phone. Remaining sessions are Nov. 19 and Nov. 26. Caregivers are invited to call toll free 1-800-767-1750. When prompted, enter access code 73687 then press the # key.

Military caregivers can also call the support line at any time, 1-855-260-3274.

Caring for Military Families, The Elizabeth Dole Foundation

http://elizabethdolefoundation.org/hiddenheroescoalition/empowering-caregivers-2/#sthash.s1GW4178.dpbs

Organizers at the Elizabeth Dole Foundation have taken the words of the Rand study to heart. The organization hosts training sessions, which caregivers can attend in person or online, connects caregivers with their peers through a national support network and helps caregivers and veterans search for jobs. Click on the website above to learn more about the available programs.

Base Neighbor Demands Credit for Putting Up with Military

Let me introduce you to the ugly American.

She was sitting at the gate of a major military installation last weekend, waiting to get a pass to attend a birthday party behind the gate. Apparently, she had had enough and blurted her frustrations out on Facebook.

Sure. Sitting at the gate stinks. New security measures have been put in place at gates around the nation meaning the wait to enter could stretch to an hour or more. I get it. It is frustrating. I agree. The largest military on the planet surely must be able to find a way to streamline the gate system.

It’s what she shouted across the internet next that made my blood boil.

 They “have been sitting there for 25 minutes now. They just called #18 and [they are] #31. This is beyond ridiculous. Tell me why it's okay for me to teach military children and work and live side by side with military families but we can't get onto post without all of this??!!! It was bad enough before with the vehicle checks. I think local residents should be treated with a little more respect from our military. We put up with a LOT because we live next to Ft. [***], you'd think we would be treated a little better than this. I'm disgusted and furious!!!!!”

Are you kidding me?

Her friends offered advice, through obviously gritted teeth.

They politely suggested her that those who invited her on post should have warned her about the security changes. Others reminded her, “They put their lives on the line for us the least we can do is be willing to be inconvenienced a little by getting a pass or waiting in a line.”

Normal people in a rage would have stopped. Not this ugly American. She continued to demand to be allowed on base. The rules didn’t work anyway, she said. She deserved credit, she said.

“One thing that does annoy me is the lack of respect for NON-military families around here. I've lived here for 14 years and used to drive on post as easily as driving to Walmart. [My husband] has lived here his entire 47 yrs. We've seen a lot of people come and go, we've prayed and cried with and for families who've lost loved ones. I've waited at [****] a few times for my brother to return from deployment. We are very much military connected, but because we don't have that status and an ID card, we don't get any credit for any of it. Maybe that's why I'm so annoyed at the ridiculous system of getting on post.”

Ok, I’ll back up for a minute. Yes, I’m sure she has friends in the military. She says her brother has served. Certainly, she is part of the military support system.

This, however, in no way, shape or form, affords her the same benefits that are granted to actual military members and their spouses. That means no ID card, no base access.

Did she stop to think for one second that combat veterans who have been wounded but did not retire also do not have ID cards and also have to stop at the gate for a pass? And sit in that very long line.

Even as a military spouse, I’ve been stopped at the gate. My car has been searched. I’ve been turned away, with an ID card. It’s called national security measures.

Mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters of soldiers killed in action don’t have ID cards either. They will be sitting in the same line if they need to come on base to tend to their dead relatives’ paperwork.

But that doesn’t matter to this gal. She puts up with so much. She is entitled. She deserves to waltz onto base without anyone questioning her. She has lived here the longest! That makes her special, darn it!

Here’s the thing, sweetie. If you want “credit” as you say for living the military life, than actually join and live the military life. Yes, having a brother, cousin, son, neighbor serving in the military is not easy. Of course you are considered part of their military family.

But that is very different from serving on the front lines or being the spouse at home trying to hold it together.

When is the last time this gal gave birth while watching on CNN the town her husband was fighting in get blown to smithereens? When was the last time she got a phone call from her husband for the first time in three weeks only to have the satellite signal drop two minutes into the call? How many times has she moved in the last 10 years? How many times have her children switched schools, been made fun of for being the new kid or came home and announced they didn’t want to make friends because they knew they were going to move anyway?

It is hard to have extended family in the military. But being the actual military member or the spouse means dealing with a reality that most civilians could never imagine, and that includes this gal and other extended family members.

And I have yet to come across a military spouse worth her salt who demanded credit for the things she has done. Military families serve out of duty and honor. They do not demand credit in a hasty, nasty Facebook post.

The mere fact that she would suggest that she deserves the same or more respect for her role in the military community than a military spouse or service member is selfish and grotesque.

I am disgusted. I am furious.

This, my friends, is exactly the type of person we do not want and do not need in our military community or in our support systems. This type of person, who feels entitled to have all the benefits of being military without ever actually serving in the military or as a spouse, is the same as the person who wears medals they never earned.

 In her rage, she reminded her Facebook readers that “after today, all invitations to events on post will be respectfully declined. Parties, concerts, fairs, runs, etc. will not be attended by me and mine and I will laugh when I see events advertised as ‘open to the general public’.”

Trust me sweetie, after that rant, you’re not welcome.

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