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Magazine's Fort Bragg Spouse of the Year online winner

Ashley Broadway and other same-sex military spouses do not have military ID cards or family member status, because the Department of Defense doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. Ashley, like other same-sex military spouses, doesn’t receive military healthcare, moving or housing allowances or other similar benefits of being a military spouse.

Even so, she said the response she received when she first asked to join the Association of Bragg Officers Spouses was the first real discrimination she had experienced. The club’s leadership took two months to deliberate and first offered Ashley a guest membership, because she lacks a military ID. The club has since changed its policy.

Join the club ... or not

Ashley Broadway asked about joining the Association of Bragg Officers Spouses back in November. Her request was met with an uncertain response from the group’s membership chairman, because Ashley, though legally married to a soldier, does not have a military ID card. She and other same-sex spouses are not recognized as military family members by the Department of Defense or the Army.

On Friday, the Fort Bragg, N.C., spouses club changed its policy and its initial offer of a guest membership to Ashley, saying their board wanted to support all military officer spouses with a more inclusive definition of spouse.

Fatherly advice

Armin Brott isn’t an active duty Marine anymore, but as a father, veteran, writer and radio personality, he is still fighting the good fight. He said he wages an “ongoing battle” to convince men that fathering is as important as mothering.

“Dads and moms do things differently,” he said. “We have this idea that moms are better, but we’re just different.”

Not just the same Auld Lang Syne

Our family received an extra gift in time to welcome the New Year, one that gave us more than we expected. It came, like Christmas in Whoville, without ribbons, tags, boxes or bags – unless you count the luggage. There was a fair amount of that.

All three of our children were with us for Christmas, a gift we no longer take for granted. Then, after Christmas, we were reunited with two families from a previous assignment – and all their children.

Cheering for the home team

Complaining about American Forces Network commercials is a popular sport for military families overseas, one that reaches its zenith about this time each year. As Super Bowl weekend approaches, the burning gridiron question is not about coaches or quarterbacks. It’s about advertising. Why must AFN viewers be deprived of one of the hallowed traditions of American sports: Super Bowl commercials?

Every year AFN, which provides American television shows for U.S. military audiences overseas, explains why donated programming and paid advertising are mutually exclusive. Every year, some viewers insist that for TV’s most expensive advertising venue, it just can’t be true. But it is.