Submitted by: Anonymous
Take a walk on any given day in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina home to Fort Bragg and the 82nd Airborne, and you’ll be met with unique shops, mom and pop owned restaurants, veteran-owned breweries, and hip coffee shops.
Cut around a corner and you’ll most likely encounter a homeless veteran asking for a few bucks or searching for food. Drive a few minutes to Skibo Road, and you’ll see homeless vets visibly standing at intersections with signs looking for work or a few dollars.
One spouse recently shared with me that her husband was diagnosed with multiple nodules on his lungs. This would be scary to anyone, especially a 42-year-old with young children. You would think something of this nature would warrant a follow-up appointment quickly at the VA Hospital. His wait time—two months!
Nationwide, there’s been a flurry of targeted negative instances from our President himself that have troubled many military members and their families. This being reflected in a recent military poll from Military Times where his military approval rating was as low as 42%.
— The attack on the Khan family. A Muslim Gold Star family who lost their son United States Army Captain Humayun Khan, killed in 2004 during the Iraq War.
— His insults on John McCain being captured during the Vietnam War.
— Installing the Trans Ban in the military.
— His pardoning of two war criminals.
— He restored the rank of a Navy war criminal to the dismay of many service members
— Using $7 Billion from military funds to build border barriers, with another $7 billion in DOD funds to be used in 2020 for the wall.
— His comments referring to Traumatic Brain Injuries as headaches.
Let’s not forget all the racist innuendos that basically take a hit at anyone black or brown who is serving this country.
So you can imagine why last night’s performance at the 2020 State Of The Union rattled many military families. Yes, we know it’s shocking to learns that not every military family fawns over Trump.
In an almost “Hail Mary” attempt to look like he cares, Trump first introduced us to a 100-year-old veteran named Charles McGee, a Tuskegee Airman who flew 409 combat missions. While there were no qualms with him honoring this Veteran, it’s extremely hard to watch him use this African American hero as an aesthetic pawn, and a few minutes later award the racist conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh with the “Medal Of Freedom”— a medal usually reserved for someone who has, oh I don’t know, contributed something positive to America. Rush Limbaugh is known for his far-right rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and racist commentary. A song he frequently played on air was “Barack The Magic Negro”.
For the record it’s not uncommon to have military at State Of The Union’s. It’s the matter in which you treat them when not in front of the cameras that can be an issue.
The biggest misuse of America’s military families came when Trump honored a Fort Bragg military spouse and really put on for the cameras with a military reunion as her husband surprised her in front of all of Congress and America. A perfectly choreographed ensemble chanting “USA” roared in the background.
Yes, many TV shows have reunited military couples in front of an audience, which we expect when the show is known to honor and surprise people frequently. We don’t mind it there because it’s genuine, and people come to these shows knowing what to expect and have made a choice to display their reunion.
However, while we’re all excited that the Williams family was reunited, this almost feels like a cheap theatrical ploy for the cameras, and the Williams family were the innocent victims.
Mrs. Williams already looked extremely understandably nervous as she was acknowledged for what I assume was being a military spouse. That’s not meant with malice either. It’s just that we don’t quite understand who she was. In previous State Of The Unions people who worked on some kind of initiative or endured a huge challenge are usually recognized. I’m all for the everyday person being honored, but this is exactly what made this feel like a play for the cameras.
As a military spouse, I want America to stop romanticizing and fetishizing military homecomings. Sure, the occasional video of a kid being surprised by mom or dad, or a wife finding her husband in a sea of camo is great and a tearjerker.
However, homecomings are extremely personal and after many months of separation, you sometimes don’t know what to expect or what you’re walking into.
That kind of personal emotional intimacy should not be used to make Trump feel good after the sheer amount of disrespect he has shown the military community, nor should it be used for political theater.
The bottom line is, leave the military out of your political fodder. We are not your puppets to bring out when you need to make yourself look good.
P.S. Next time you want to surprise a military spouse at the State Of The Union, at least have a seat for her husband so they aren’t just standing there in what was an already awkwardly intimate moment.
Submitted by: Anonymous
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