Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don't Ask- Don't Tell

So I haven't been feeling good the last few days....darn weather has my RA a mess and well, some of it I think is just the out and out blues. It was a horrible birthday for me, especially since I just recently discovered yet another wrinkle! In all reality, I probably just haven't had a lot to say....which is strange for me! The highlight of this week and next will be taking my children to one of the largest fairs in TN which I am pretty excited about. My husband claims he will be going and have a great time....more to come on that later. I hate to be a doubting Thomas about such events, but I think with TBI/PTSD we are automatically programmed for disappointment, bracing ourselves for outbursts, freak outs and let downs. I am also attending a Wounded Warrior Wives retreat the 24-27, which I super jazzed over too. I need to blog a little more about this group as I haven't yet, and just keep forgetting!

I promise this is not about this links to my blog in general.

So for today's blog...the mistress feels like I need to make a statement about the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. I don't know about you, but it really irks me that we have so many issues going on in the military but, all we can really focus on is whether gays or lesbians can be open about their sexuality. I recently received a survey for 2010 military spouses from the government. I put it off to the side thinking I will most definitely fill this out, because hey...can't bitch about anything if you aren't willing to let them know right? I sat down last night when the kids went to bed, and finally opened it. Low and behold, the whole darn survey was about the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy! I sat there flipping through all these pages and one after the other, all questions pertained whether or not the appealed policy will have an affect on our family's lifestyle, military career, and so forth.

I was really pissed! Now maybe because I have a soft heart, understanding, and sometimes naive.....that I don't really understand the full issues here. I know why the military doesn't want everyone who is gay to be wide open about it, but now we are having to do surveys about it as if they are some type of sexual predator moving into the house next door? I don't know a lot of people who are gay, especially in this bible part, farmers and Minnonite laden community I live in here in TN.....but I did attend college. Two of my closest friends were gay and they were "life" partners. I loved those two to death and they weren't flamboyant, didn't try to lure me into being gay, didn't even really talk much about being gay. I remember when my friend sent me an email because he had lost my address, and letting me know his partner had leukemia. I didn't realize then at that time, that this man truly did love and adore the grounds the other walked on. He was devastated after his partner passed away. I try to keep up with him from time to time, because friends do that for each other.

I kept thinking about my friends while I filled that survey out. Now my husband, who is slightly homophobic, thinks this would be the end of the military if not the Apocalypse. Sometimes, he is so shallow minded I really want to smack him upside his head. I think my biggest concern would be for their safety, as I am sure there are many who are totally against it and some macho man would beat the hell out of someone. However, my thing is this: We have had gays since the hands of time began, many of whom served in the military. Did the end of the world happen because we didn't have a policy in place? No. The thing that bothers me is that the military had to sit down and think of some serious questions to ask families of the military. What? In hopes that we say "Oh God yes....having the policy appealed, would be devastating to my husband's military career!"

The questions on there were absolutely ridiculous. "If this policy is turned around, would this affect your spouse's option for staying in the military past his obligation" Uhhhhh no. What's affecting my husband right now is your getting ready to boot him out for medical problems stemming from war injuries that you aren't helping us with and we are having to fight you to fix. We will then have to fight for medical retirement and then hope like hell you give him a score low enough for us to keep our damn health insurance".

"Would having an open gay military member living in your community, affect your ability to live on post housing or change your mind to living in civilian housing". biggest concern is that my husband is getting ready to lose our only income due to his severe PTSD and his lack of ability to hold down a job" I am not really concerned with housing and gays on post right now.

I LOVED this one:
"If the policy is appealed, would having a support system, family readiness program, or classes be beneficial to you and your family". This was the point where I started banging my head against my desk. REALLY?

THEN I had to mark options pertaining to this support system. Key leaders, FRG, Commanding Officer, Mil One Source, and many others. Military One Source can help me cope with having openly gay military members, but they can't give me a resource or one damn referral? Are you freaking kidding me? You have discussed the possibility of holding classes? You can't even hold a class for training on PTSD or TBI, but you will hold one for this? What's wrong with having spouses come together on post for a PTSD support group?

Sorry Uncle Sam...but you really pissed me off by sending this survey to me. I can assure you that in cases like ours who are battling the war at home with our Veterans, probably could have used about seventy of those "remark" boxes. I filled both of mine out PLUS added a typed letter. What a crock of crap! I think I am slightly hurt too as silly as that sounds...but really? I can't get a survey asking my opionions of the military's programs that are supposed to be working? I can't get a survey asking about what we would like to see if our military personnel are wounded? Is this really what our military has gone to? Concerned enough about having gays in the military that they waste time and money sending out surveys?

I never received anything from the government or an outside agency concerned with my Reserve Family's opinions in regards to not having any support system throughout the deployment. Hell, I couldn't even get a deployment handbook! I don't recall anyone ever asking me if I thought classes would be a good thing for our wounded warriors until about two years ago when I started asking questions. I don't see the VA sending out surveys about their services and lack of, to our soldiers or spouses. The Caregiver Bill is another one...did anyone do a survey to see what was needed and what wasn't?

I guess I am just thouroughly disgusted with this because I am ranting now. Maybe I should be concerned about gays in the military, because obviously there are many who think this would be detrimental to their military careers and openly hurt military families....I don't know. I normally don't discuss politics or religion because you can lose friends and fight with family over it. I only speak about stuff that really isn't right or bothers me, and this survey in regards to the Don't Ask Don't Tell just really set me off. I filled it out and will return it today because if someone should say something, I can say hey, I did this survey. My opinion was hopefully accounted for. However, I really think the military should concentrate more on heavier issues with our soldiers and our veteran's, rather than worrying about whether a military's gay partner attends the FRG meeting and if this will prevent me from going to it. Seriously Uncle Sam.....You are killing me!

"Don't Ask Don't Tell" should be the new T-shirt slogan for PTSD,


  1. I found your blog because Scott from PASP commented on mine. I had read your post My Scream List and saw so much of my own feelings in it that I HAD to see what else you had written. I nearly fell out of my seat when I read this post.

    I finally gave in and filled my stupid survey out too. They had sent me several requests and out of exasperation I decided to just send it in. I sat in the post office parking lot in the middle of a very busy and very hot day this week and pulled out my pen.

    I was LIVID that they took the time to make this survey. I was straight pissed that they expected me to take time out of my busy life of taking care of my wounded soldier to answer their ridiculous questions.

    I don't even live on post and most questions were geared for those who do. All of the wasted money to ship out multiple "anonymous" surveys to addresses that obviously aren't on post. All of the wasted money to find out if I give a crap if a gay couple lives in my neighborhood or if a gay person works with my husband.

    Hello....that's what happens in the civilian world and they seem to be ok.

    I too, was ticked that they had the nerve to ask if it would affect my husband staying in the military. REALLY??? My husband can't drive, can rarely be left alone, and is in constant pain and turmoil. He is leaving the Army because he is broken not because Johnny loves David.

    They wanted my husband to fill out a survey as well (fat chance) but getting his opinion would at least make sense. He is, after all, the one IN the military.

    It took everything I had to be a lady while filling that dumb thing out. I, too, got the impression that all of this is in hopes that we wives will just freak the heck out and demand that gays just stay away from the military life forever. Well, they didn't get it from my house.

    Thank you for this post and I'm sorry I took so much space to vent. You just said so many things that were JUST what I was thinking. I couldn't be quiet!

  2. Bahahahahah!! I am soooo glad finally someone commented! I figured no one read this because of the "content" and haven't heard from anyone who has gotten this survery of idiocy! Even more so, one who has gotten it and got pissed off over it too!!! Thank you for your comment and soooo glad you agree. It's on the verge of harassment is it not? I got mailed 3 surveys because I hadn't filled it out quick enough and THEN two postcard reminders! I wish they spent that much concern on PTSD/TBI! I know my topic was slightly controversial and everyone has their opinions on gays in the military. I got two nasty emails in regards to my "views". OBVIOUSLY they didn't read the whole blog because then they would see I was pissed on a variety of things in regards to this survey! I can't believe they asked that many questions like our comments are going to make any difference and two, like that's going to change our military member's minds. Sheesh. I just thought with that much effort, it was a waste and more so needed elsewhere. I am so glad that you commented and I have added you to my list as well. I haven't seen your blog yet. I am doing a list of different blogs upcoming...would you be interested to be added so others can find you? Thanks Emme for making me feel not so along in my lividity and for being just as angry as I was!!! Hugs~USM

  3. I am sorry you received such misguided hate over what I felt was a clearly stated point. I never once felt that your post was about gays in the military: yes or no? It was quite clear that you were ticked off about the waste of time and money involved to find out your opinion when no one seems to want or need your opinion about matters that are much more pressing to you as a spouse of a soldier with PTSD and TBI.

    You asked if I felt that the bombardment of surveys and requests was harassment. Harassment is the exact word I would use.

    Your post was well written and your opinion was well stated. And your OPINION is exactly what I'm here for.

    As for adding me to a list, I'd love to be connected to your blog in any way. I think you are doing a great job here.

    Keep writing. Not everyone will agree with you every time. But your header clearly states that this is a blog about YOUR point of view and YOUR feelings so no one should feel misled!


I Would Love to Hear From Ya'll!