Earlier this year, I interviewed Marissa, a military Mom from Virginia, about her perceptions of the election, the media, and the war from a Mom's perspective. This week meet Whitney, a 21-year-old stay-at-home Mom to two little girls, who shares her thoughts for the race.
Tell us about yourself. My name is Whitney and I am from Parkersburg, West Virginia. I am a 21 year old stay at home mommy of two sweet girls.
Tell us about your family. My husband's name is Kris. He is enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. We are the proud parents of Lexi, who is 4, and Molly who is 20 months old.
Why did your husband join the service? My husband joined the Air Force a few months after we got married. He had been in the Air Force JROTC program all through high school and has always had a sense of pride and a commitment to serve in the military.
It was a tough decision for two 18-year-olds to make. We had Lexi when we were in high school so it was a scary thought to up and move away from family and friends and have no one but each other to rely on and to take care of a little one. But deep down we knew the burn for Kris to serve would never go away.
What are some of the sacrifices your family has made/will make during his deployment? This January he will be deploying overseas. We just recieived his orders last week. During the time he is gone he will miss all of our birthdays, Valentine's, Mother's Day and Easter (which is a big deal in our house). We are also Christians and my husband is going to college for Christian Ministries. Unfortunately, when he deploys he will have to leave behind one of the things that comforts him the most - his Bible. Since he will be in the MIddle East, he can not have any type of Christian material. It will be difficult for him to get used to it.
As one whose spouse is in harm's way, what is your opinion on the Iraq war? I believe it is fully neccessary. We both do. We fully understand if the war is not over there, it will be here. We live in a very secure country compared to most people. I think living so far from the violence allows people to become disconnected from the real threat. I never want to come to a point in my life where I take that safety for granted.
We have friends in Iraq right now. They all fully believe in what they are doing too. Living in the military, I get a different perspective than many people. Everyone hears about the men and women who oppose the war and do not want to go back. The part I hear about is the men and women who know what they are doing is right and needed and VOLUNTEER to go back. They are not a small milority either. They are the silent majority. They are the ones who do not boast about where they have been or what they have seen. They simply know in their hearts that what they are doing is better for everyone involved.
I know the military is "neutral," but we keep hearing conflicting reports in the media about sentiment of military families in this election. What is your perspective on the general military sentiment in the Presidential election? Who do you support and why? Our family supports McCain. McCain has been in the military himself so he knows what is invovled and what it is like first hand. Our men and women serving want to know that their Commander in Chief is prepared to lead them into battle. Not only that, but we have job security right now. Under Democrats, the job security is no longer stable. They want a small military and that cuts our jobs. Republicans make us feel wanted and needed. Democrats are known for not giving good raises to the military. It is frustrating to know they will give the military the smallest pay raise possible, but give themselves the best that they can. This is the general consensus in our ring of friends. We can not put out yard signs and such when you live on base, so we go by word of mouth .
What issues besides military issues are most important to you? Social issues are a must. When we are away from family and friends we realize how much family means. It is what holds us together. Keeping those values strong is absolutely neccessary. I would never want a leader who thought that our children could even be viewed as "being punishment". They are NEVER that, and I never would want my children to hear something like that.
What do you think of Governor Sarah Palin? I think she is a great role model for so many girls ranging in so many ages. A woman in her 40's can see how well she handles being a new mommy and a career later in life. Someone in their 20's can see how poised and confident she is. Teens and younger can see how she stands up for what she believes in and is a very loving mother. I am so glad to see someone who is strong in their moral beliefs no matter what the opposition is.
What would you say to military families who are undecided about who to vote for? They need to take into consideration what is best for everyone, not just special groups. They need to choose someone who has never been questioned if they are patriotic or not. They need to choose someone they would like to lead their husbands into battle. Someone who truly appreciates what our families are doing and going through. And someone who knows what war is and not just seen on T.V and short little trips just to come home and call it all a failure. Democrats have always said they are "for" the working class, but I have never seen a case where they are "for" the working military.
Thank you Whitney for sharing your perspective!