No “fashion” today. I am taking the day off as a mother. I just want to give my two cents worth as a mom.
This week I spoke to my doctor, who was once a physician in the U.S. Army. We were discussing a service project I am doing for an organization that is sending the children of fallen service people to summer camp for fun and counseling. He remarked that many “servicemen” came out of their time overseas with psychological issues. I interrupted him and said “servicepeople.” I reminded him many women have served, and he agreed. (Indeed, my son’s classmate’s mother still serves in the Reserves as a pilot for a refueling plane. She’s a nice petite lady who bakes cupcakes and has a pretty flower garden but when she has to get in that big plane and do her job, she’s there.)
Over the past decade, women as well as men have had to abruptly leave their lives because they were called up from Reserve or called into action as servicepeople—and rightfully so. They signed a contract and willingly took employ with the military. However, little honor is given to the fighting mothers—those who sacrifice the daily struggle to bring up their children to struggle on behalf of their country.
Combat is hard. Add to it the additional concerns many women have to face. Consider this: over 30,000 single mothers were deployed to Iraq alone. Imagine worrying about the care of your children with a spouse you may not trust or with relatives you are not certain have your values in place while you are in combat. Forget the enemy on the ground; the enemy may be in your head as you think about whether your kid is getting the upbringing you want for him.
Additionally, according to Newsweek, women in the military are more likely to be assaulted by a fellow officer than be killed in combat. The documentation of women being sexually assaulted in the military is horrifying. Sen. Susan Collins of the Armed Services Committee said “What does it say about us as a people, as a nation, as the foremost military in the world when but surely our women soldiers sometimes have more to fear from their fellow soldiers than from the enemy?”
I get tired of the flag waving and empty rhetoric of “supporting the troops.” It seems to pander to some P.C. notion of patriotism that rubs me the wrong way. I never wanted our troops to go to Iraq in the first place and have wished for a long time that they were out of Afghanistan. My support of the “troops” is to never have asked them to go.
Nevertheless, they went. They served. They sacrificed. Thank you, Servicemoms. You were the real tiger mothers.