What We Really Need

In my continuing struggle of honesty versus rudeness, I’ve decided to tackle something that I feel really needs to be written about.  I would like to bring to your attention the one thing military families need.  We need support.

What Do You Mean You Need Support? We Do Support You!

Yes, support is there, however it’s not really what we need.  So many Americans support the military and the military family, but something isn’t quite right.  I’m not sure I’m explaining myself very well. You know; before anyone gets upset, let me go back to the beginning.

Susan’s Beginning

On September 12, 2001 military recruiting offices across the Nation saw an influx of people wanting to enlist.  The day before, our country had been attacked and thousands were killed.  Terrorists had hurt us and our hearts were broken.  We helped each other and watched our sons and daughters promise to fight for our country.

Americans selflessly left their old life and headed into uncertain future that was full of promise and hope.  Never again would America be so badly hurt.  America’s military promised to protect and defend.  So far, our service-members have kept their promise.

Some Historical Tidbits: 

In February 1972 President Nixon, issued no draft orders and by 1973, our military became an All Volunteer Force.  For over 40 years, we have been an All Volunteer Military.  It’s volunteers that have been on continuous deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

On October 7, 2001 a US led bombing campaign and humanitarian drop started in Afghanistan.  By November, ground forces were in Afghanistan.  Our military has been supporting Operation Enduring Freedom since October 2001.

Operation Iraq Freedom commenced in March 2003 and ended with troop withdrawal in December 2011.

The percentage of Americans that are currently serving on Active Duty, National Guard, or Reserve status is less than one percent of the American population.  We have been at war for over a decade and less than one percent of America’s population is serving.

I need a moment to take in that realization again…Okay, I’m back.

So here is something a little more cheerful, go search for famous people that have served and the list will impress you.

So, What Is Support To You? 

Support is more than a thank you at the airport.

Support is more than a Budweiser parade for one soldier.

Support is more than a sticker that reads, “Support the Troops”.

Support is more than our elected officials blaming DoD budget issues on the cost of the service member and the family.  It’s those same elected officials and political appointees that want us to win at all costs.

Keeping Promises to Each Other By Providing Actual Support

The recent budget crises have shown me, that our government is not looking out for anyone.  The posturing and school yard bully behavior from the people we elected is atrocious.  Our DoD officials, and senior leadership is behaving just as badly, and who is caught in the middle of all of this behavior? The American public.

Department of Defense claims that personnel costs are out of control and that military benefits are to blame.  Yes, those pesky benefits like retirement and healthcare are the entire problem.  (This is the exact moment that a sarcasm font is needed.)  Yes, those promised benefits are the ENTIRE problem with the DoD budget.  It’s service member’s fault for going to war and needing help when they come home from another deployment.  All. Their. Fault.

This week the cost of living cuts to military retirement were repealed from the Ryan-Murray budget. What was the price?  Medicare.  Thanks Congress for adding into the divide between the military and civilian community.  That is NOT support and now another promise to another group of citizens has been broken.

We need to keep promises to each other.  What does that mean exactly?  We, the military, and we the American public, need to stand up for each other and say enough is enough.

Our military comes home to see their government placing blame on everyone but themselves.  They come home to broken promises.

The military is tired.  They are war-torn, their families are falling apart, they are hurting, and this military still stands up and asks the question, “Where do you need me next?”

No matter how many promises our government breaks to its citizens, we must promise to look out for each other.  We must stand together and demand more from Washington D.C. because this is only the beginning.  The military will now face a new battle. It’s a battle on the homefront, and we are not prepared.

So what do we really need?  We need you, standing right beside us because we will stand right beside you.

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