Friday, April 4, 2008

Military Mom Speaks Up!

I am *so* honored to have Q&A with Marissa, who is an Army wife and mother in Virginia. I 'met' Marissa through my CafeMom John McCain group. The war on terror is a major election issue, but it's not just abstract for the thousands of families who sacrifice - often silently - for our freedom. Thank you to Marissa and Ken and the many families whose bravery would be truly recognized by a President McCain.

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Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I'm Marissa, wife to Ken, mother to Aidan (6), we live in Belle Haven, VA. Ken has been in the U.S. Army for 21 yrs., on Active Duty for some of that time. He is currently NC Nat'l Guard 20th Special Forces Group, Sergeant First Class Senior Medical Sgt. (18 Delta). He has been Special Forces for 12 years, he recently served as Team Sergeant in Iraq for 8 months, and Afghanistan for 6 months.
Q: Can you comment on why he joined the military?
A: Ken wanted to serve his country, he is passionately patriotic. He went to college after 2 yrs active duty on the GI bill. He remains passionate about his service.
Q: As a military wife, do you generally follow Iraq war news and politics?
A: Depends on whether he's over there or not!!!! I wouldn't say I'm glued to it. My husband follows it much more closely. He gets a lot more info than the media gets from inside sources. We don't get a warm fuzzy that the Iraqi people can really run the place effectively without an outside military presence, there's just too much turmoil there.
Q: How do you feel about media coverage of the war? How did it affect the troops from your point of view?
A: The only media coverage that we feel is fair is Fox News. Everything else is totally biased, and sometimes downright traitorous. My biggest beef: Americans who insist that they "need to know what's going on over there". Um, if their husband was embedded with guerillas in the mountains of Afghanistan hunting Taliban and Al Quaida I'm pretty sure they would have a problem with the liberal media highlighting their loved ones exact location to the terrorists!!! I don't feel like we have a right to know everything!!!
Q: As a wife whose husband has been in harm's way, did you initially support the 'surge' strategy? Do you now?
A: I did support the surge, that was the area where Ken was embedded in Iraq, it was overrun with insurgents. We are at war, soldiers will die and get horribly injured. My husband and I have talked about it at length. If something had happened to him, we believe it would have been the will of God, and that it would have been a sacrifice Ken would have freely given for his country, that's how passionate he is.
Q: Who do you support in the Presidential election and why?
A: MCCAIN!!!!!!! How can Obama or Hillary possibly be our next Commander in Chief???? What would they do, hug everyone who wants to exterminate us????
Q: Is there anything else you want us civilian Moms to know about the war?
A: Some 'dos and don'ts':
  • DON'T believe everything you hear in the news, (unless you watch Fox News). It often gets totally skewed. Ken would call me and tell me "don't believe what you heard on the news about a bombing...."
  • DON'T say "I just wish everyone would come home from Iraq!" It's patronizing and
    unrealistic. We are still in Korea, Japan, Germany, Bosnia, etc, etc, etc.
  • DO say you're thinking about her, DO ask her if she needs help with the kids so she can have a moment to herself, etc.
  • DO tell her that you won't take NO for an answer!!!! (It was really hard initially accepting help from others.) Sometimes dinner would appear as if by magic in my fridge
    anonymously!! (we live in the boonies and my front door's unlocked.)
  • DO sponsor a soldier- our favorite online charity is Soldiers' Angels. My family, friends, and church were incredibly supportive. So were my other Special Forces team moms. Our husbands were with each other over there and we leaned on each other here (mostly online because we were all spread apart). Our Family Readiness Group was an awesome resource for me and for Aidan.

THANK YOU Marissa for sharing your thoughts, best wishes to you and all military families.

1 comment:

Misty said...

I just want to say THANK YOU!!! This mirrors what I have been saying to family and friends for a long time!!!

I am an Air Force Veteran myself and married to an active duty Army soldier. We have 2 small children and have been through 2 one-year deployments over the last 4 years. And as difficult as it is . . . we would do it again in a heartbeat!!!

Thanks again