One of the many blessings of Facebook for me is the contact I continue to have with former students. Probably 2/3 of my Facebook friends fit into that category. One of them contacted me yesterday with a request, and I would like to honor it because I consider it worthy of publicizing. As it happens, this young woman is married to another of my former students who is now serving in the military. They have a ten-month-old son. Her husband is currently deployed overseas, a thirteen-month stint. Normally, soldiers on such a deployment get a two-week R&R in the midst of the deployment. The Obama administration has changed this. I’ll let her tell the story:
As you probably know, my husband . . . is deployed for 13 months right now. Obviously a hard year, especially with our baby son. In years past, soldiers were allowed to come home for two weeks’ R&R mid-deployment to see family. This was especially important to soldiers with young children. But this year the mid-deployment R&R program was cut. This was a real hardship on [us] and I think trying to balance the budget on the backs of military families is a travesty. So in true . . . activist fashion, I started a petition to bring back R&R for the military families that are already hurting from 11 years of war [so much PTSD, divorces . . . ]. Now I am trying to get publicity for the petition. I have two talk radio shows that are planning on covering this military R&R issue, one online newspaper is taking it up, and I’m trying to ask all my friends with connections both for suggestions on how to publicize this issue and if they would be willing to spread the information.
She has set up a site where you can add your name to the petition. When you do so—as I have done—it will trigger an e-mail to the White House, to both of your state’s senators, and to your congressman. The site is http://www.petition2congress.com/8229/bring-back-military-rr/
Sadly, we have an administration that, while mouthing platitudes about those who protect the country via military service, does little in the way of helping them. The fiscal cliff that approaches may end up slashing military funding drastically. This is particularly disturbing since having a military force is one of the few things we fund anymore that is constitutional.
The military always seems to get the short stick. Ever since Obama took office, it’s interesting how hard it has become, for instance, for those in the service overseas to vote. Those absentee ballots don’t always arrive on time.
The Obama-Holder Justice Department cries “fraud” when states simply want voters to show a valid photo ID, but all I hear is silence when it comes to soldiers voting. Of course, they know which way that vote will probably go.
It’s time for us to stand up for our military families. I encourage you to help with this petition drive.