THE BLOG

Speak Up for Military Families

02/25/2013 05:40 pm ET | Updated Apr 27, 2013

During the 1980s, a popular bumper sticker suggested "It will be a great day when the military needs to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber." I guess the military better get out the cupcake trays because not only are the much-maligned bombers being cut.

As the axe swings above the defense budget, it's worth reminding a few people with American flags on their lapels, the ones who swear up and down that they love military families, the leaders who line up service members behind them like props during a speech, in no uncertain terms, in spite of of what happens before March 1:

Your failure to act has already hurt us.

Military families have carried a heavy burden that only people who have gone through sending a loved one to war will understand. For over a decade, our service members have been called away from their homes and families to fight. Some have not returned. Others have returned but not as the same person who left.

Back at home, their families have gone through every major life event without their spouse present: births, graduations, and funerals. The damage of such lengthy wars on our service members and their families has yet to be assessed but the leaders of our nation have decided these families can handle yet another burden.

We're often asked by civilians: how do you do it? One of the big reasons we are able to do "it" is because of the services that have been put in place to ensure military families can survive at home in the absence of their loved one and to aid them with repairing their family as best as possible when a service member returns.

Suicide prevention programs. Counselors to help children at school because mom or dad is deployed. Reasonable access to medical care. And knowing our loved one has the equipment they need to be protected in harm's way so they can return home without missing limbs or in a body bag.

In true amazement we watch our world, the one that was supposed to be safe and secure get torn apart. The uncertainty has distracted service members from their real jobs and families; many of their days now devoted to figuring out how to best prepare for the months after February 28.

There are some reasonable decreases in services military families can handle but when the cuts are so deep they further damage our families: all Americans must speak up.

Our families have had the public's back since terror knocked on America's door. Because our elected officials seem unwilling to stand up for us, we now need for you to cover our backs. Don't let Congress's failure to act become the American military family's burden. You must be our heroes and, along with us, urge Congress and the President to do what they have so often asked of our military: be good leaders.