I promise this is not about this policy.....it 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". No....my 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,