If you read the magazine, you know that at the beginning, where they have their staff listed, each month they have a question/challenge that they pose and the staff responds.
This month's challenge? Help a military family. Awesome! I was totally on board, and so excited to see how the staffers responded.
Then I read the answers. And every.single.one involved giving some family money or household goods.
While I am aware that there are plenty of military families who could use financial assistance, I'm a bit frustrated that this seems to be the only way non military families seem to help out. There are SO many other ways to help, America!
I could come up with a list a mile long.
1. Make all deployments no more than 6 months.
2. Stop sending the guys who have already gone 3+ times. I know there is a Marine somewhere who has never gone.
3. Keep every single deployed service member safe.
4. Ensure that the next house we move to will fit everything from this house, and from the house before - that may or may not be in storage, or awkwardly shoved in a corner. Oh and if that house could be reasonably affordable, near the base, and in a good school zone? You'd be amazing.
5. End return date waffling.
6. Find a moving company that will not only not steal/lose your stuff, but not break anything either.
7. Provide every deployed service member with a cell phone that lets him or her call home regularly, but does NOT violate OPSEC.
8. Speaking of, explain to all of America was OPSEC is, and how to not violate it.
9. Get Americans to support the military. ALL Americans.
10. If somehow, word could be spread that we do NOT like to be asked if we're afraid while they're deployed, or to be told that we knew what we were getting into, that'd be nice. And it's that stereotypical joke, but please do not compare my husband's tour in Iraq/Afghanistan for 7-9 months to your husband's business trip of one week to New York City.
11. ...oh, you want realistic wishes? Ones that regular people *(AKA not HQ Marine Corps and the President)* can help with?
1. Stop stereotyping service members. Just because my husband is a Marine does NOT mean he is a baby killer. He is a smart, kind, amazing man who happens to carry a gun for his job. Which involves defending you. And your right to call him a baby killer. Just keep that in mind, ok?
2. STOP stereotyping military spouses. I won't even go further in to this, because I get too mad.
3. Help spouses get good jobs. Don't look at our resumes and ignore the experience and education and only notice the constant moving.
4. Babysit my kid so I can go on a date with my husband. But don't be upset if that date changes a dozen times due to being called for duty, or liberty being revoked, or Top saying he has to stay late, or any other random thing that only the military pulls.
5. Give me a name, email, facebook address! of SOMEONE I can be friends with at the next duty station.
6. Remember that though my child is four years old, just like yours, she's lived in four houses in three states and said good bye to her Daddy for an unknown length of time three times.
7. Agree to answer the phone at 3 am when my neighbor pees and I think it's someone breaking in to the house while my husband is gone. Then stay on long enough to assure me that it's just that over active bladder again and my children and I are only in danger if we hide on the toilet.
Don't get me wrong. I LOVE that there are people willing to help out military families. Lord knows we need it. I just feel like all the 'help' I ever see extended and received is financial. Aside from looking horrible *(and irresponsible)* to non military families, it's not fair to those who are doing well financially but could still use some extra help.
Military service members and their families do more for and give more to this country on a daily basis than the average citizen. We are grateful for the help. But please, America, don't think that throwing money at us can always solve the problem.