Posted by Jayne Davis, DCoE Public Affairs on July 11, 2013
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Michael T. Crawford
“My point is no one knows what it is really like on the other side. There are many inaccuracies and misunderstandings, but as military families, we have to face the fact that we hold some responsibility. We need to share our story, educate the community, and speak up for ourselves.”
-Michelle Joyner, National Military Family Association communications director
Joyner was speaking of mistaken assumptions made about military life by those not living it, and how the same can be true for anyone’s life if time isn’t taken to explain it. She penned this argument in the National Military Family Association’s blog, Branching Out, and suggests it’s up to military families to peel away misconceptions so healthy understanding and mutual support can foster in their communities. Her argument caught our attention as it also exposes the challenges families with service members who have psychological health concerns and traumatic brain injury (TBI) face, only compounded by their injuries. These families also need to share their stories, educate their communities and speak up for themselves. If this is you, find your voice with help from resources listed at the end of Joyner’s blog post.
Recent articles about lavish benefits and ketchup choices have sparked many conversations in our community about the lack of understanding of the military lifestyle. Many feel that our civilian friends just don’t understand what it’s like. There are feelings of frustration and anger pitted against the sacrifices made during these past 12 years of war. As a military spouse, I can identify with the emotions these conversations evoke.