In the world of blogging I still fill like a newbie. It’s only been about two and a half years. It was one of those things where I just jumped in, all in, without really thinking much of it. From there it has just evolved…and kept on evolving. About a year ago I attended my first blogging conference, a military blogging conference. There were several of us “Spouse Bloggers” there and it was one of those celebrity kind of moments for me. So many bloggers that I had been following were now all of the sudden right there in front of me. It’s how I started writing for Homefront United Network, how I met some amazing supporters of the community and how I met one special lady who totally got me, who understood my life and me (secretly snarky and all). The only down side to this thing is that I spent that weekend being spoiled only to watch us be spread back all over the United States. What it made me realize is the importance of being in the same space. Yes, many of us live on base and have that community. I don’t, so to be surrounded by like women, with similar goals and very similar backgrounds was priceless. The people that I met and the experiences that I had were far beyond my wildest expectations.
The Mil-Blogging Gals!
Me and Angela (Founder of The HUN) and Heather (now Associate Editor @ Military.com)
So, of course I was looking forward to this year’s events. However, this is going to be a whole different format, not necessarily a blogger thing, and pretty darn awesome if you ask me. If you are or are going to be in around the DC/VA area April 11-12 then this is the place to be my friends. Its as close to a once in a lifetime experience that I can think of. The friendships you will make, the connections you will experience are 1000% worth it.
Me and Jacey (Director of Spouse and Family Programs at Military.com)
Here’s what you can expect from the Military.com Spouse Summit 2013
No Power Point (although I’m that nerd that wishes she was still in school…but I have a feeling I won’t be disapaointed)
Representatives from the Center for Deployment Psychology, The Warrior and Family Support Center, USC’s Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and some pretty awesome speakers…perhaps one of the coolest is Sal Giunta – Medal of Honor Recipient.
This will be the place for you to network, make friends and discover all the amazing things that will truly help you succeed and go forward in your military life. Whatever is important to you I’m will to be that there will be focus on it, or you will meet someone that is in your position and can help you. I know that is exactly what happened to me last year.
The news has been all a buzz with the news of Panetta lifting the ban on women in combat. My initial reaction was, “well, aren’t they kind of already there?” To me, it became very apparent they were when Jessica Lynch was captured. You don’t get captured not being in the thick of it. We have women every day traveling in convoys, armed to the teeth, ready to fight alongside their brothers. We have women pilots, getting it done! I realize that “in combat” technically means downrange and on the front lines; but the lines are kind of blurred these days, and “down range” is really everywhere. It may come as a surprise to those that know me or read my personal blog, that I’m cool with this. I would be the first to tell you that I’m pretty conservative, as well as being pretty old-school. However, a lot of the world isn’t and there are women serving in the military of their own volition and not by draft.
Several months ago a news piece popped up about women being allowed into the ranger training program. That’s when I really started thinking about this topic. My hubby, who is pretty smart about these things, explained to me that there are a lot of people that use the Ranger program as a way to further their military career, with no intention of joining a Ranger Unit. My brain burst into flames at this point. I had absolutely no idea that that happened. Now that I know that, it would only make sense to allow women to participate. Why should they not reap the benefit of it to further their career? A man that posses that will automatically be chosen over a women with the same accolades.
The problem for me comes in when we look at the requirements to achieve that goal. There is a reason why women previously haven’t been allowed into Special Forces, or combat zones. I’m sure many people will argue that a women’s emotional sensibilities have been involved in the conversation; but let’s just put that one aside for moment. The bigger issue to me is the physical requirements. If you were to ask me I would tell you that I don’t think there should be different in them, combat or no combat. If you want to have different requirements for someone that works in finance or admin that’s fine, but if you’re being deployed to a war zone, you need to be ready. This would be especially true if you were going to become a Seal or an Army Ranger. There is no way that a woman should be allowed to be in either one of those unless she can do the same thing that her male counterpart has been doing all these years. It’s not about being sexists, it’s about the safety of themselves, their brothers in arms, and those they are to rescue.
The Coast Guard (and Navy) has it right. I knew that women were a part of the elite Rescue swimmers, but I didn’t know the whole story. While doing some research on that part, I came across several articlesand fact sites. There are currently four female rescue swimmers in the Coast Guard. Did you know they were asked to do and did the exact same things that were asked of their male counterparts? Go Coast Guard. Why should they not have to do the exact same thing? They are under the same stressors and rescuing the same people. The first female rescue swimmer for the Coast Guard was Kelly Larson“nee: Mogk”. Ms. Larson retired in 1999, having received numerous awards, including the Air Medal and an in-person congratulations from President George H.W. Bush. You can read about another rescue swimmer, Sarah Faulkner, here, who was instrumental in several rescues during Katrina.
While I personally may not be signing up for Rescue Swimming or the Army Rangers any time soon, I’m all for women choosing to do that. However, having the same physical requirements should be the first thing we discuss in the coming days. To not discuss it would only set women up for failure and possibly be putting their fellow Soliders and Seamen in danger, as well as those civilians around them. More importantly it would be a slap in the face to those women that have stood toe to toe with their elite counterparts in the Coast Guard and Navy Rescue Swimmer Programs. Women can do what men can do, sure, but they have to be able to do what men can do.
Well, here I am, a day late with my mil-spouse appreciation day post. This has been an amazing week for me and my mind has been swimming with thoughts and ideas for me and my blog, and my readers. One thing I am very excited about is an upcoming series about the military life. There are so many spouses, experiencing different things, in different situations, from different backgrounds and living different lives. But, and that’s an important BUT…..we can all learn from each other. Even if we aren’t going through a specific situation we can still learn from them. I feel like the military life is like perpetual school. I know that every day I’m learning something new. I’m seeing other ways to cope. My kids help me learn. They help me learn to be a better woman, mother and wife! I’m stronger because I know I can be. I hope to bring some amazing stories to you. Stories from some amazing fellow mil-spouses that are strong and beautiful women, along with bringing you my own story.
So to all the strong women out there, Military spouses, girlfriends an fiancé, thank you so much for your example, for your inspiration and encouragement. Stay tuned for a new story every week.
Now just a little tidbit about me
I’m an Air Force Wife, technically Air Guard, but we are full time…ridiculously hard to explain most of the time…….
We have three beautiful children and have been together for 13 years!
I love to read when I can, watch black and white movies, spend time with the huzzy when I can. Watch my crazy children grow, watch the news, read the news, learn as much as possible about the amazing history of our country! We are now living in the DC metro area and Im in absolute heaven! If you aren’t already a follower I hope you come by when you can.