Tag Archives: Marines

Veterans Day 2009!

Happy Veterans Day 2009!

These past few weeks have been the busiest week for me as a milblogger, but here is a list of everything I’ve posted related to Veterans Day 2009!

Do you all think O.A.R. met their goal of 111,111 pledges?

This video was posted to Harley Davidson’s YouTube account thanking veterans for their service:

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Getting to know: Real Life As a Marine Wife Part 3

From what I read in your blog, you and your family are stationed in Germany. How does the German public’s treatment of the United States military compare with the American public’s treatment of our military?

The Germans LOVE President Obama, but I’ve only been here five months so I haven’t formed an opinion yet about how our host nation treats the military.

From the perspective of a Marine wife, do you feel the news coverage of the war in the Middle East isn’t being 100% truthful with the public?

No. The media is trying to keep it clean, and war isn’t clean. It’s dirty and ugly and bloody, but America doesn’t have the stomach for that, so the media doesn’t cover it. There should be a deployed service member or Wounded Warrior profiled three nights a week on the national news.

The Marine Corps recently enacted a ban on dogs with aggressive temperaments from Camp Pendleton, Lejeune and other Marine bases. How would you and your family handle this situation if you were living on base?

Actually I’m not an animal lover, and I think this is a good idea. The housing is too close together and there are way too many unsupervised kids running around to take chances. If people want a big and/or scary dog, they should live off base. Plus a lot of pets get abandoned when people PCS, or they bring a pet overseas, not realizing that housing and open space may be totally inadequate for a large animal. It’s unfair to the pet.

Are you and your husband encouraging your children to join the military or are you attempting to steer them towards a civilian career? Why or why not?

My oldest son is a senior in high school and we support his desire to serve in the military, but would prefer he enter as an officer, after college, rather than enlist.

More Q&A’s to come in the future with more from my blogroll, but in the mean time read Part 1, Part 2, and Tracy’s blog , Real Life as a Marine Wife.

Getting to know: Real Life As a Marine Wife Part 2

You’ve been posting a lot recently about the Homeowners’ Assistance Program, have there been other issues you’ve been as passionate about in the past that received a lot of posts?

The Homeowners’ Assistance Program was the one that really set me off, that wasn’t just a personal gripe but affected a huge number of people. Most of the other service-related irritants I’ve learned to deal with, or laugh through, during the last 19 years. Now that I have something of an audience, I think a lot of things I’ve gotten used to will be addressed, for the benefit of those who haven’t been doing this for 19 years and haven’t gotten used to it.

What current issue (other than the Homeowners’ Assistance Program) do you believe needs immediate action from the government?

Purple Heart medals for traumatic brain injuries, fewer deployments and longer stretches at home between deployments.

Do you feel veterans are receiving the respect and treatment they deserve from the country they fought for?

Hell no.  Because the media sanitizes everything, America has very little idea of what military life is  really like, and consequently has little motivation to support and continue to support the troops. America needs to be outraged to action, like it was after 9/11, and instead it’s largely oblivious and indifferent.

Look for Part 2 & 3 to come, but in the mean time read Part 1, and Tracy’s blog , Real Life as a Marine Wife.

Getting to know: Real Life As a Marine Wife Part 1

Tracy Moulton Peterson is the author of Real Life As a Marine Wife, a blog who’s headline describes it as:

Active-duty officer’s spouse tells the truth, without sugar-coating or censoring. What it’s really like in the all-volunteer Marine Corps these days for one family.

I have been reading Tracy’s blog and on October 2, 2009, Tracy promoted It’s a Veteran’s World on her blog. I got the chance to talk with Tracy via e-mail and this post is 1 of 3 to result.

How long have you been involved in military life, and what is your/your family’s background?

I enlisted in the Air Force in 1990. My first (failed) marriage was to an enlisted Marine.  My husband of 10 years is a Marine officer. Apparently I’m a sucker for the uniform.

What advice would you give to new military wives/girlfriends?

1) Don’t have children right away. Wait  a few years, a deployment, and a PCS move, so you know if you can handle the hardships of military life yourself, before you try to handle them with a child or two. A baby complicates your already-complicated life to a degree you can’t imagine.

2) Find a shoulder to cry on when you need to, and then continue to march.

3) Go to school, start and/or finish your college degree, get a job. It’s essential to have your own “thing.” Keep up with current events, read the newspaper. When things go wrong in the world, it can (and often does) end up affecting you.

How do you feel the Marine Corps varies from other branches of the armed forces?

I think Marines have more discipline than soldiers, sailors, and airmen. They certainly have to work a lot harder to attain the title, and they truly are the few and the proud. Marine for Life/Once A Marine, Always A Marine is true.

Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 to come in the future. In the meantime, read Tracy’s blog at Real Life as a Marine Wife

Imposter veteran in Colorado

The Stolen Valor Act makes it a crime to impersonate military personnel, and falsely claim military medals or honors.

A link from @USMCsupporter showed up on my Twitter feed, and answered the very question I posted to my readers on my last blog post:

Has anyone heard of this happening in the United States?

Rick Strandlof was arrested by the FBI for violating this act by claiming he was a a Marine captain and Iraq war veteran, Examiner.com reports, but was doing a lot of work in support of veterans and veterans issues:

The man arrested was Rick Strandlof, who, under the name Rick Duncan, founded the Colorado Veterans Alliance, and was known in the Denver and Colorado Springs areas for his advocacy of veterans issues.

The saddest part of this arrest is the suspect has been doing work in support of veterans and veterans issues.

The article stated Strandoff had a history of psychiatric problems, but does not elaborate on the actual illness.

This is a sad situation, and while I find it offensive he claimed to be both a Marine, and a war veteran, I applaud the work he has done for veterans issues.

Stigmas…now it’s hurting veterans’ pets

Stigmas are something that’s been burning my candle a lot lately, especially now that I read on Twitter the Marine Corps is banning pit bulls, Rottweilers and wolf hybrids because of their “aggressive temperament,” according to The Los Angeles Times.

Because pit bulls are the dog of choice in dog-fighting, they have been given the stigma of being vicious and blood-thirsty creatures who live only to violently attack humans and other animals. It’s a shame animals who are serving as pets to families living in base housing are being forced out of their homes.

Why are the enlisted the only ones being targeted? A dog bite occurs ever 75 seconds, according to DogsBite.org, but I haven’t seen my cousin or friend be forced to let go of their pitbulls.

This feels like the enlisted military are being singled out by higher-ranking officials because they [higher-ranking officials] have  authority over the enlisted.

North County Times in North Carolina offers an explaination for the ban, something I found in no California publication:

The ban is being instituted as a safety measure and comes after a 3-year-old boy was killed by a dog at North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune last year.

Last year. At the minimum ten months ago. So why has it taken so long for this ban to be put into place?

Has the Marine Corps run out of things to take from their enlisted?

The ban on tattoos, and now they’re taking family pets?

Unless, of course, the pet passes a test and is considered a “good dog,” according to North County Times.

The dog in question in the Camp Lejeune attack also attacked a young girl months prior to the latest attack, but one dog attacking people is hardly a cause for pets to be banned from their homes.

This will break the hearts of young children who already have to suffer through their father or mother being deployed into war zones for long periods of time, and now they may be forced to part with the family pet? Sad. Very sad.

What do you think of the ban? Should enlisted be forced to give up their pets or is it an abuse of power on the part of the Marine Corps.

Stigmas…Veterans are not psychos

According to Wikipedia, a stigma is defined as:

In sociological theory, a stigma is an attribute, behavior, or reputation which is socially discrediting in a particular way: it causes an individual to be mentally classified by others in an undesirable, rejected stereotype rather than in an accepted, normal one.

Some stigmas I’ve heard being thrown around about veterans are:

They’re unstable because they suffer from PTSD.

They must have killed someone when they were overseas.

War makes them act like psychos once they’re back home.

And one I’ve had directly at me, personally:

Your boyfriend was in the Marine Corps overseas in Iraq? He must be a violent person.

Stigmas. Often unfounded assumptions made by the ignorant who know nothing more or less about the military than the violence shown on television and in movies.  Yes, my boyfriend was in the Marine Corps. Yes, he was trained for “one shot, one kill.” Yes, the Marine Corps caused a lot of destruction overseas. But all those things are what’s shown on the evening news. They never show the good these men and women do overseas.

My cousin was in the Air Force at the beginning of the War on Terrorism and was deployed to Afghanistan, but chose a detail standing in the middle of the desert guarding civilians while they rebuilt their villages. The news focuses on all the bombings, and the causality rate, which has increased far too much.

The news never talks about how my boyfriend and his unit repeatedly tried to save the life of a reporter and a cameraman by keeping them out of the “stack” (a group of Marines armed and preparing for entry by force) until the coast was clear because more times than not, they [Marines] never knew what type of lethal force was waiting for them behind the door they were about to bust down.

Mental health treatment for veterans is lacking in this country, and when a veteran is suffering from PTSD or another mental illness caused by the horrors of war and commits a violent crime, the news simply writes him/her off as “another psycho from the military.” It’s not fair.

It’s not fair to those who served and its not fair to those who will serve to know they’ll be treated with that stigma.

Anyone have experience with stigmas of being a war veteran or veteran of service? Share your stories with me below.