Saturday, January 31, 2009

London Times - Ya gotta read this!

Really, ya gotta! Go Here. A great commentary of the differences between Bush and Obama..


Scandals - and they aren't sexy either

Body Armour - again... - and for a certain commentor, this isn't left over from the past Democratic administration - this is the stuff that was ordered by the Bush Administration. Does anyone else find this completely reprehensible? No testing done, except by outside contractors? does the phrase Lowest Bid resonate with anyone? this isn't the shameful ripoffs of KBR in food prep, or the wholesale handouts of cash to local personnel for questionable intelligence - these are the lives of those in country! I am not "maligning" the Army or the military - I am, with many of my "sisters", amazed that this is still going on- that after all the scandals and reports, that contractors are still selling equipment that is not suitable for purpose, that is flawed. Flaws happen in manufacturing all the time, but testing is supposed to catch this equipment before it is circulated out into the population for which it was designed.

The amount of money being spent on these should mean they are fit for purpose - and that purpose is to save lives and protect our men and women in uniform. Tell me, is there an amount of money spent on testing that anyone of you out there is willing to "Save the taxpayer" and weigh that amount against that life, the life of my husband, Tucker's husband, Sissy's husband, Mamaw's son?

There's another topic, and it's so difficult to talk about. Suicides going up. I was reading the paper and listening to the news, and it's shocking enough there. When you do a search online for suicide rates - there are headlines EVERY YEAR that the rates are going up, more than last year, and there is another program, and another study and more brass proclaiming that they see it, understand it, going to fix it, need more psychologists/psychiatrists - etc etc ad nauseum.

Then I talked to a member of the military on my shuttle bus.. and it slammed home. His stepson, after being home for less than 3 months, and a few weeks after his wife and baby left the home because of the depression and fear of physical impact, killed himself. That's horrendous, but what really floored me - his stepdad claimed he received NO counseling, no redeployment assistance - he was scared to say anything because his unit was hard on anyone claiming PTSD, that he was spiraling out of control, and no one saw it. I don't know the full details, and I sure wasn't going to ask a man in mourning... but it's not the first time I've heard that our much vaunted and trumpeted re-deployment "Beyond the Yellow Ribbon" programme isn't being implemented properly, that lip service is paid, that it's another checklist to be ticked off - we saw it after our last deployment.

I know we don't have enough counselors, enough doctors to help, and that's another problem all together. But we can, we MUST, change the thinking of those who say PTSD is just a pile of BS, that these people are malingerers, cowards, whatever epithet they want to use. There are, surely, malingerers trying to get out of duty - but I'd rather let a couple of those slide through, than see another man trying to make sense out of a death like this, another family torn apart by it, another baby girl who will only know her dad from stories and pictures.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Some Concrete help for families

Now HERE is a great idea! I do a package a week to the DH and a package every other week or so to a couple of others... and when the RedBulls deploy- another few. So help with mailing would be GREAT!


Wars, What Wars?

This article, from Carissa Picard on - says it very well. We are still there, y'all! Yes the economy sucks (thanks to our past administration, those who are blaming President Obama, get a GRIP!) but please please, don't forget the military and their families. The economy is hitting us too, hell, we still have a house for sale, back in MN... and I know others who have PCSed and can't sell their house - the spouse is trying to find work and will end up working to pay that mortgage and the costs of keeping that house.

War fatigue - oh yeah, I'm tired. But I can't just turn off the TV and pretend it isn't there! Nor can many of my friends. At work - they have forgotten it. so I keep that updated count of the dead on my door.. and for at least a second, they are forced to remember.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mr. Limbaugh - This is reprehensible

I want to say I'm surprised, but I'm not. To hope that a President fails, is hoping that the United States fails. I cannot understand how this is helping in any way, how it would strengthen our country, or the troops. This is not loyalty to our country.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

lookie what I got!

For our anniversary this December - Didn't Chief do good??


Thursday, January 22, 2009

This is both great and awful

It's great that there are so many willing to help... It sucks that the need is there. The article here, which was on NPR (hat tip to a bunch of lefty spouses!) talks about a program that links vets in need, with those that want to help.

I love that it was on NPR.


Seven days down...

There used to be a show... Seven Days - where a time traveler could go back 7 days and change things. Wish I had that machine. Seven days in the Litterbox - it's been a long 7 days. I'm back to sleeping on the couch till midnight - then stumbling into bed, eating at strange times, the house isn't too awful, but it's not pretty!

After the past few days and the comments - well there is now a change, no more anonymous are accepted. Ya gotta be willing to at least put your blog name out there, or make up a name. How hard is THAT??? jeez.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Obama

I have a friend, who wrote a post to you - and she said you aren't her choice but she wishes you well, congratulations and luck. This is how, I am glad to say, many of those members of the military family who didn't elect you will react. They will honour you as the Commander in Chief, they will pray for your success in dealing with our community

You ARE my choice for President - and I am hoping for so many things. I don't think you can change everything right away, and I think you may have to moderate some of your objectives, due to changing facts and times. But I'm still hoping.

There are those who have decided you are not a "true American" whatever they mean by that. They are angry and underneath all that anger, I think some are scared. Some are scared because you are not the same colour, some are scared because you have a name that sounds strange to them, some think that military service is a pre-requisite to serving your country honourably, some don't agree with your decisions and ideas. Some of them may change their minds, but unfortunately many of them have closed their minds and will not budge.

I hope that you will listen to the men and women you have selected to advise you, and that you will understand that the military sometimes has a different view of the world! We aren't numbers, we aren't a monolith, we aren't all alike. We are individuals, who work together, the uniformed members follow orders, and the families are also affected by those orders. The First Lady has shown her interest in the families and we hope that she continues that interest.

Good luck, Mr. President.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gotta say this - cause I'm NOT a victim, just pissed

From someone I know... This is in response to my comments on a Neocon blog concerning the costs and the control of security for the inauguration:

"Your husband's chances of survival have decreased because of your political chances. I seriously hope nothing happens to him, or any other soldier, but the fact is, we have a higher deployment and casualty rate when led by members of the party that see us as gun-toting neanderthals."

The author of the blog decided that I was playing a Victim, because I objected to being told my political choice has endangered my husband. This - my friends and readers - is why I sometimes wonder about my fellow military family members... why would anyone say this to the wife of a serving member of the military? why?

If I had said that to the wife of this man - who is a Purple Heart recipient, and wounded in combat - how would he have reacted? If I had said your husband wouldn't have been wounded except for your political choice of Bush - who made the choice to invade Iraq, how would she have reacted? Quite rightly, I would expect she would have kicked my ass, and would have been justified in doing so. She's a blogfriend of mine. I thought he was one too.

No, I'm not a victim. I'm a very proud Military Wife. Proud of my husband, proud of my fellow military family members, proud of my veteran son and daughter in law. But the pride in some of the members of this community has slipped.


Monday, January 19, 2009

A thank you and a promise, from a lady!

Mrs. Obama wrote this letter, to us as military families. I won't link to the version, because I am completely ashamed of the vitriolic, racist, revolting comments that have vomited forth from some of the commentors over there. But I wanted to share it with my readers. Tears are not far from the surface this week... and every time I read this, I do get choked up. Because finally, finally, someone is saying what I always wanted a person in her position to say - that they get it.

for those of you who wish to spew your nastiness - don't do it here.

On my way to the BSF4O victory celebration at Ft. Belvoir - and there's an inaugural ball in the ballroom downstairs as well. For the first time in 8 years, I have hope.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Logic - Security and other facts and figures

I have been getting some ridiculous comments on a comment I left on another blog, to which I refuse to link. None of my readers need to be subjected to that!

She and her like thinking folk are saying that the State of Emergency that was declared by Bush - is Obama's fault. That the cost of the inauguration - Obama's fault. That the security problems that don't seem to be under control - are somehow under the control of the Obama team...

As to Control of security -

Logic states = The Secret Service is in charge of security - and were still under the control of the Bush administration for the entire time prior to noon on January 20 - since they are under the command of Homeland Security. The National Guard - still under the control of the Pentagon - and the Commander in Chief was STILL the CinC. I think even those commentors would agree that if Bush gave a command yesterday or this morning, it would be followed, if Obama gave a command during that time, it wouldn't...

The State of Emergency was declared because:

"Mr. Bush granted the request as 'a precaution,' Mr. Stanzel said; if the District needs the money, it can apply for reimbursement through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The declaration will also allow federal public health workers to join in the public safety effort. The president’s power to declare a state of emergency is typically used after hurricanes, floods or other natural disasters, although Mr. Stanzel said presidents have occasionally declared emergencies in advance of an anticipated event. But never before, he said, has an advance emergency declaration been used for a 'non-disaster.'"

I decided to research some facts about costs - that's what I do - research. Turns out, the figures given for the cost of the Obama inauguration of about 160 million dollars include the costs of security. Various Conservative/neocon websites and news agencies have compared that to the costs of the last Bush inauguration, of 42.3 million dollars. However, and this is a big However comma, these costs do not include the costs of security. When you add in the approximate costs of security (approximate, because the actual costs are not given out, due to - well... security!) the actual cost of the last Bush inauguration are figured to be 157 million. folks, this is a non story.

This money isn't being spent in China, or being ferried in C130s by the Crate Load downrange without any receipts or proof of what it was spent for. This is being spent HERE, in DC, Virginia, Maryland - in the United States. The portalets - local companies. The police departments - local, state, federal. The printers - a small company (I think they are in NJ). The overtime being paid to the local cops - spent by them in the local economy.

The point was also made, that too many people were coming and that this was too popular of an event and that somehow, all those trying to get here, should have somehow been stopped from doing so? The commentor didn't actually say how, or if this must be done, but the inference was there... Now this one made my head ache. I remembered from a US Government class way back when ( yeah, in the dark ages, we used pens!) something about freedom of assembly - sure enough, a little more research - there it is. The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There - my research, for what it's worth.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

They understood.

Yesterday was one of those awful days - you just want to forget it happened. But in this life, we don't get to do that. DH was supposed to be flying through an airport near here, so we could say a proper goodbye. Then he called, and said he wasn't, that they were flying through another airport, and we tried to say our goodbyes on the phone. When he went down to the training area last weekend (and he has a LOT to say about the horrendous waste of time that was) we said "see ya" - and now I feel oddly as if we never really said it, as if the sentence never got the full stop, as if the chapter has no proper conclusion. Does that make any sense?

The folks at work - clueless, completely clueless, and since they don't understand, they are distant and almost brusque. I don't want pity, maybe some sympathy for how I was feeling would have been nice - I got "oh well, it's probably better this way"... huh? how does that compute? it's better to not tell him goodbye, to tell him to be careful, to kiss him and hold on for just one more second? But then, they equate this with a week's fishing trip!

Then Kimba IMed and asked me how I was. I told her - and in minutes, we had a 4 person chat going on, with Bette, Lopsided Mom, Kimba and me. - and they understood. I could handle it better, when I said I felt numb - they understood. When I said I should plan my meltdown - they understood. And they made me smile, and laugh, because they understood.

The BSF4O women who I was talking to about the upcoming party (a different post about that later), they understood. That's when I realized, that it is important, that I have some friends who have been there, done that, got the Tshirts and hats and coffee mugs.. and that understand.

Thank you so much for being there, and understanding.


Monday, January 05, 2009

I'm still here..

I haven't been blogging much - yeah duh, can you tell? and it's not because I don't have anything to say. I have too much to say - we are a few days away from deployment, and it's starting to really sink in.

It's not just the trunk in the living room, and buying supplies, and talking about finances... it's the sinking feeling. I've been avoiding it - really truly pretending it's not happening. But it is. and I can't get it out, I can't talk yet.

So put up with me, those few who still read this blog. I'll be babbling again soon.