In January, Michelle Obama was on Oprah and talked about military families and how brave we are and that she wanted to help us (no, seriously). This is a far cry from when she was on the campaign trail with her husband and claimed to not know anyone serving.
While a few news outlets picked up on what she said, it was all forgotten fairly quickly and, unsurprisingly, no one ever delivered. Lots of people like to promise things to the military and never deliver, but we always hope this one delivers.
Fast-forward to last week and the threatened government shut-down. On Friday, April 8th, our paystub for the next week came out and showed that we would only be paid for work through April 8th because, more than likely, the government shut-down was going to happen and we would not be paid. The government has shut down in the past. Each time, presidents have ensured that the military would be paid. Obama, in a bid to force Congress' hand, stated over and over that the military would. not. be. paid.
Late in the day on April 8th, when it looked as if the shutdown was inevitable, Mike's unit (and many other units) held a briefing on what this means for the soldiers. Mike had E-2s and E-3s panicking (I can't blame them, I married Mike when he was an E-3 and we barely fed ourselves, much less us and kids). Because military housing has been privatized and is now owned by a private company, people could be kicked out of their homes. Military treatment facilities refused to make appointments for the coming week. The commissary would close. Basically, in much of the military community, panic ensued.
In the end, of course, we all know they pulled it out of their behinds at the eleventh hour (literally) and all expected to be patted on the head and told what good children they were. I was irritated. Then a friend of mine showed me this article: First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, will launch a national initiative tomorrow that will call on all sectors of society to support and honor America’s service members and their families. Excuse me? A week ago, they used military familes to force congress to $h!t or get off the pot, now they're promoting your benevolence plan for military families again. And we're supposed to be what? Touched? Honored? Pardon me if I'm not buying what you're selling. Anyone else feeling a bit used?
10 points if you can identify where this came from.
I voted for Obama. At the time, he was the lesser of two evils for what I was looking for in a president. I do not regret my vote, I do not regret my choice. If I was in the same situation, I'd do it all over again. However, rather than touting empty promises and using families in your game of political chess, how about we actually do something useful? Stop scaring people and give us the support you promise. People complain that Obama gave us a pathetic raise, but, honestly, we don't really *need* a raise. I'm grateful right now my husband has a job and we get by on what we make. A raise would be lovely, but so would a cold beer, a new car, a pony, a massage, and a steak dinner. I don't particularly *NEED* any of that, either.