I was talking to a group of people last night and we were talking about the Train concert and they asked me how did you do it. I told them this idea popped into my head so I emailed it in and I thought what's the worst they can do say no or just ignore the email. This morning I realized telling me no is no longer the worst thing to say to me, sometimes it the best.
I have very constructively voiced my opinions while we've been on this road. I have told Army, Navy and government officials more than once I will not bring you a problem without at least one solution we can work with. You know what's funny is the highest people up haven't told me no, it's the ones in the middle. They tell me, well that nice or that will never work. It's always fun to watch their reactions to me pushing it further. What's even better is when I go around them and get things done.
Last night someone said to me, "What makes you think you can change things?" First I am God's child. If he is with me, no one can be against me. Second I know what our families need. I have been walking this road for over 9 months. I have a first hand view of it all. Third I have a big mouth and I will fight for these families. They are tired and exhausted and they need help. Put those together and you have a mighty good force.
The biggest problem we have here is we have a bunch of stuff shirts who sit in offices and meetings and who think they know what we need. But the truth is they have not carried an 80 pound ruck sack for miles. They have not stepped on an IED. They have not been through a gazillions surgeries, blood transfusions, medications and all the above. Nor have they stood next to someone who has. I truly appreciate their sympathy but those who can share my empathy have a lot more of my respect. They can address our medical needs, but surviving all of this is way beyond the scope of medicine.
I have said again and again you cannot heal a solider completely without a support crew. If you make us feel unwanted or even useless or incompetent we will want to leave. If we leave who will be there for that soldier. We are the soldier's soft place to fall. You are the medical mystery solvers. We need each other. This is a symbiotic relationship, you can't heal them with us and we can't heal them with you. It takes a village to raise a child, to me it takes a nation to heal a solider.
I only have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and History. I am surrounded by people with more degrees then I will ever be able to count. And they just don't get it. They haven't been there to see a soldier go outside for the first day. They haven't been there to watch a double amputee take their first steps. They haven't seen our warriors accomplish these huge milestones that we all take for granted everyday. The people making decisions on our behalf are in their own tunnels and don't realize the impact their decisions have on our families.
We have a great system in place. But sometimes that system forgets the little things and the people it is designed to help. I had a Colonel tell me the other day he has waited so long for an articulate enlisted spouse to speak up. He said we have a huge disconnect and we need someone who understands to help connect all of that. He said we are looking a bunch of quilt pieces right now and no one wants to take the time to stitch it together. It was that moment I realized I can't fix the whole system, but I can help these families. I can lessen a few of their worries. I can get parking spaces for our vans and trucks so the soldiers can get in and out without worry. I can arrange for outings to get their minds off of the hospital every once in a while. I can do small things that will really brighten their days. Blessing these families has been one of the greatest things I have done so far in my life. No amount of money in the world can ever top seeing the smiles on their faces when you help them. We all need an easy button to push every once in a while and I am thankful that I can sometimes provide that for them.