"Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't." -Eleanor Roosevelt
I love this quote by Mrs. Roosevelt. It is so beyond true. Since we returned to Maryland last month, I have truly felt like I am sitting on a double edge sword and no matter which way I turn I am risking being cut. The truth is I am just following this quote. If I speak up I might be able to help these families. That means I will meet with important people and discuss important things. The consequence is because of who I talk to and who I am seen with, I get accused of so many things. (And let me tell you the accusations are hilarious. Chaz and I have had so many giggles over these silly things.)
I feel if I don't speak up then these families will not get help and then the number of vets committing suicide goes from 18 per day to a higher number. I cannot stand the thought of losing another one of these Heroes. I can't stand the thought of their families going on without them. I already know enough kids growing up without their Dads because they were killed in action. If my speaking up causes rumors and panic within the military and that means I make this road a little easier for one other family then keep throwing your stones. I can take it. But the one thing I will not tolerate is idol threats towards Chaz and his career. I have yet to get involved (yes in all 14 years) in Chaz's career, but if you want me to start now I will. I double dog dare you to threaten my hubby over one more thing that is absolutely ludicrous.
I think that some people in the hospital have forgotten one key thing. I AM NOT IN THE US ARMY. You cannot order me to do squat. If I tell you something it's our of courtesy not obligation. My NMA orders ceased on January 31. According to the Army I can go home now because my orders ended because we've been here for a year. But on the next breathe I have been told that I am expected to stay because I am his wife. Nice, huh?! How about I really don't care if you give me orders or not? How about I am going to do what's in the best interest of my family regardless of your opinion? How about I will continue to have my "secret meetings" with people who intimidate you so I can help these other families? Your accusations are ridiculously unfounded and simply make you look like a fool. You are sincerely only hurting yourself. I will sit back and let you hang yourself with your own rope. One thing life has taught me, it's that you must pick your battles. Well your ignorance is not worth my precious time. I don't have enough time to spare as it is.
Chaz has made fun of me for years because I have never paid attention to that whole ranking system thing. Here's how I work. You are human being like me, right?! So I am simply going to treat you exactly how I want to be treated. It is that simple. I am not a kiss ass, I am a direct shooter and that's why the people I am working with like me. I tell them exactly how it is and as I'm talking to them I offer up solutions. I work very well with others especially those wanting the same outcome I want. I like working together with people. I am not the typical jealous girl who is only out looking for herself. No I think globally, not locally.
I get it. When you are the military, you have a rank and file system. It scares the crap out of you to see an E6's wife talking with Generals, Admirals, Senators, Congressmen and the White House. I get it. But here's how I stand if you are doing your job then you shouldn't be concerned for one second who I am talking with and about. If you are running around and starting rumors then that tells me you are paranoid. Why are you paranoid? Why are you trying to get someone else in trouble?! The first time I let it slide but then when it keeps happening I begin thinking you are covering something up. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Well your fooling has been halted.
You want to know what I am talking about to these people who intimidate you?! I am talking about these amazing families that are not getting enough support. I give examples of their sacrifices. I talk about how they are losing their jobs and homes because they gave it all up to be here with their wounded warrior. I am discussing policies and laws. We are brainstorming policies, events and ideas to help these families. Our warriors are getting what they need but their support system is not. Our military families need a strong support system to help them through their healing. We can and will do better.I am so honored to be a small part of a team that is producing so much good for others.
Why are they talking to me? Because I am on the ground floor and I have the perspective they need so they can understand what's going on. And finally someone is not afraid to be honest so they ask me more. The people I am talking to are constantly having to navigating through the system to find the truth. I am their easy button. Add to that I have a degree in Political Science and History. I have studied laws and policies and I get it. I understand both sides. I communicate very effectively. Yes I got an A in speech and debate. I have the perspective they need and the education and experience to back it up. That's the bottom line on that issue.
The bottom line to all of this is my heart says help these families. So I will continue to speak up! So many of these families are so very tired. They don't have the energy to navigate the system. God seems to just keep putting people right on my path. Together we can make changes. In your eyes, I may just be a little E6's wife. In my eyes, I am a woman who has the education and experience to speak up for what's right. Your ignorance will not stop me. You will not get me down and you sure as heck won't order me to do so. I ask that you please just go do your job and quit meddling in my business. The only person on this earth I answer to is my amazing husband. He is very proud of me and very over protective. I wasted tears on you once, their will not be a second time.