Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My response to "THE" article.

If you are reading this blog post then its very likely you are familiar with military social networking and therefore know of the horrendous article written by David Wood over at the Huffington Post. Here is a link to the article and please note the title was changed. The article was written at the end of January but has faced a recent firestorm causing it to go mega viral. I left a comment last night but just didn't feel like I was "done." So here is the email I just sent him.

Mr. Wood,

 

Your article only just came to my attention last night. Judging from the hundreds of angry comments you received in the past 24 hours I’m guessing it slipped under other people’s radar until then as well. I would love to know where you are pulling your numbers from. My husband is an E5 and is currently active duty with the Army. He has been National Guard and a Reservist in the past though. So we have seen many sides of this lifestyle. Never though have we lived in the lavishness that you speak of. Because of years of inability to create a defense budget our family suffered financially. It was because of my parents that we didn’t end up in debtors prison. We are in a much better place now than we were before but our family of 4 still lives on less than -------(edited for privacy here and on FB)----- a year. My husband is in Special Operations and was wounded in action on February 20th, 2012. Which was also his 26th birthday. Our daughter was 3.5 years old and our son was 11 days old when I got the phone call informing me that he was wounded in an enemy attack. We rushed to his side at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and committed to staying there by his side until he was to be released. Normally the military compensates a family member as an "NMA" which is non- medical attendent. My children and I were denied this compensation for unjust reasons. We drained our savings account to pay for food, diapers and formula in the DC area where the cost of living was higher than our home of record. All along the way we had to fight for almost everything. They say if you are combat wounded the military will “fix it.” The truth is they will fix what they are willing to diagnose. He fights for recovery, I fight for his right to care. Where are our “lavish benefits?” Why do I have to threaten congressional investigations just to get my Purple Heart recipient treatment for the head injury he sustained in the attack?

 

People are so angry at you right now and saying some nasty things in their comments. I will admit your words made my blood boil. But I don’t hate you for saying them. And I’m not going to quibble over how wrong you are on your numbers or how much you distorted and misused the real facts about Defense budgeting. Let’s even pretend for a moment your numbers are correct. What you did as you exercised your freedom of speech and enjoyed freedom of press is you reduced these inalienable rights and the men who defend them to worthless piles of cash.

I will tell you the same thing hundreds of family members and service members are saying…

 we are not spoiled.

 

We do not live “lavishly.”

Not by financial means though.

 Here is what I enjoy in “lavish” amounts as military wife…

Time away from my husband which makes my tears flow and my heart grow.

Difficult “Is daddy going to die over there” conversations with a 3 year old.

Absolute disgust for the sound of the door bell ringing when he is away.

The knowledge that some things are bigger than us and worth fighting for.

A lump in my throat at the sound of the National Anthem.

Memories of grown men, some with their original limbs and some with new shiney ones, learning to walk again because they were protecting me and my babies.

Heartbreaking moments of holding a woman close as she cries on my shoulder because her son has just died from wounds sustained in combat.

Ability to use MY voice and MY words in letters to Congress or the Pentagon to advocate for veterans and warriors who have no one to speak for them.

Confidence that even acts of the most violent hatred cannot destroy the American Spirit.

 



These things are lavished upon me. Some are difficult. Some are beautiful. But these are the things that all weave together, the good and bad, to make up the military life. You set out to write an article about budgets. Unfortunately you said so much more than that. If you had only stopped to let words like this sink into your heart before reducing us all to sniveling spoiled brats you might not have completely discredited yourself as a “journalist.” Go on, and keep writing. But just remember the words in this email because they are the life of those who sacrifice so much for your freedom to do so.
 
 
Jacqueline Goodrich~ Wounded Warrior Wife,
Founder of The General's Kids~Helping our nation's wounded warrior kids
through peer support and financial assistance.

 

11 comments:

Mrs.B said...

This was beautifully written and brought tears to my eyes.

I was so angry when I read that article this morning but this is just the best response to it that I've read all day.

chambanachik said...

An absolutely perfect response to that man. I wish I had half of your grace.

Rhe Christine said...

probably the best response article that I have read.

Amanda said...

You go girl. He needs to know what the military is really like.. not just his uninvolved perspective.

Liz L. said...

Love this! What a mature, honest and wonderful way to respond. I haven't quite figured out how to even put into words what this man said, but to read things like this makes me glad someone isn't going for the choke hold but is setting the record straight. I hope he apologizes.

KelleeLyn said...

Amazingly put and better than I could ever get down in words. On top of how wrong he is about numbers, no one talking about how many soldiers are now being involuntarily separated and quick-like. Disgusts me.

Marcella{The Life of a Military Family} said...

Thank you...

JG said...

Perfect. Absolutely perfect. I hope he reads it.

Allison Boutwell said...

This article disgusts me! I had no idea about it until you posted. Thank you for sharing!

Amanda said...

Wow, your post had me angry (after reading his article) and yet in tears over your words. It's very frustrating to explain the life of a military wife/family to someone who just sees the numbers. No amount of money can ever make the worry and fear go away when they are overseas, or keep us company for the years we spend without our loved one. I want to shake him and make him open his eyes, make him see that reading your words, explains sooo many other families feelings. The military isn't all rainbows and paychecks, everything the military gives us, comes at a cost.

aleasa nicole said...

I have heard about the article but I won't read it because I don't want to be mad. But I have read a couple responses and I appreciate you and bloggers like you who are willing to take on idiots like this guy. I admire your self control and the way you can articulate your feelings (of anger) without a string of curse words, which is what I'd use!! Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for speaking out for our community!