MILITARY SPOUSES DAY
President Ronald Reagan declared May 23, 1984 the first “Military Spouse Day", with Proclamation 5184, dated April 17, 1984. The US Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger posted the date by declaring the Friday proceeding Mother's Day as Military Spouse Day.
Each year, the US President normally commemorates this day with a speech and proclamation. As of this writing President Obama has neither publicly scheduled a renewal Proclamation nor related national speech. I am sure he will not miss the photo-op.
Maybe he would like a photo-op with a Mother Care-giver and her "Wounded Warrior" son, who have been waiting over two (2) years or more for his 100% VA Claim to be completed. Two other Mothers and Spouses are on the stage. One represents her husband who is dying a slow painful dissipating death from the effects of Vietnam "Agent Orange" (Dioxin), soon it will be four (4) years the VA has had his claim. He is the present POW’s of the VA system, placed at the "Back of the bus" and forgotten. Surely the President will do an Executive Order concerning VA and Agent Orange’s incurable diseases such as Cancer's, Parkinson’s, Heart, Lung Etc. The last but far from lease is a Lady, dressed in Black, with two young children in hand, and stands at the back of the room. She has lost her home and is drowning in debt from attempting to live as the VA had in effect placed her Late Husband (Agent Orange claim) on the back burner, waiting for him to die. The VA won, he died. So much could be changed by one well written Executive Order. Photos are taken, nice words are spoken and nothing is done. Another group moves on to the stage. They are the Military Spouses of our Retired Members, Senior Citizens with a real fear for the future. Benefits purchased in blood, sweat and tears, have become a pawn in a horrid political lair. The President will smile to give them comfort; you cannot make your mortgage payment with a smile. Mr. President, many of these folks voted for you. Where is the “Hope & Change"? When you turn your back on the old, what does that say to the young warrior? When they see how their fellow warriors, now in pieces, have to beg on TV for assistance, you wonder why some of the best of our best , leave to join Private Contractors such as Blackwater? You and your system have lost their trust. The white haired Grandmother's leave, as in the cycle of life- the old leave and young come forward to the stage.
Our Creator, as I know Him as God, made a very special person and gave her unique qualities and abilities. Many have to work two jobs a day, care for the children, maintain a residence, dodge the bill collectors, etc. The majority have to live off post and receive the full force of being treated as "Second class citizens". It is like the Service Member drops in between Combat Tours, some requested by the Member in hope of more pay or promotions, to help support the family, in some cases get his family off "Food Stamps" and "Free Food" centers. The Service Member has tried not to worry about the RIF and subsequent unemployment. Not all "Home Tours" are peaceful and pleasant. When he has made one too many Combat tours, the Military Spouse has to tell the children, Daddy will not be coming home again. Most of the time she can look them in the eye and say he is a "Better Place".
My Mama is now my Guardian Angel. She earned her wings. Three Generations of US Army, she was born at Ft. Bragg, NC while Grand Daddy was assigned there. Subsequently, after growing up in the Army, she met a young Army Air Corps troop, "With that fly boy charm”, she married and later he became my Father. Mama was to find that the three of us, Grandpa, Dad and me were cut from the same cloth. To put it mildly, we were the "Rebel sons” in the family. My dear Irish Grandmother, unloaded Grandpa on Mama. When I became a member of the family tradition, my Dad and Grand Dad were elated. My Mom stuck to her faith and before she departed for heaven, she saw the three of us ready to stand judgment. Mom was a Military Spouse, Mother and Care-Giver. She saw the good and bad of Military. She was the true Military Hero, of our family. She would have made a great photo.
Thank you Mama.
REH aka "Black Sheep"