Explaining military life to civilians

Army wife Yvonne Jones had plenty of good reasons to write a book explaining military life to civilians, but she said what pushed her “over the edge” were the civilians in her own family. Yes, we love our families back home, but they do inhabit a different world.

Sometimes being far away from family is an issue, but Jones said an assignment closer to home provided the greatest incentive for her book, “Closing the Gap: Understanding your Service(wo)man.”

Speaking up for those who can't

Jeremy Hilton has testified for congressional committees and written for Time magazine, but he’s neither politician nor pundit. He’s been interviewed by network anchors and the ladies on “The View,” but he’s neither business mogul nor movie idol. He’s not the frontman for a band, but he could be called a rock star.

Jeremy is an Air Force spouse and an advocate for military families with special needs, including his own family. He and his wife, Renae, have two children, Jack, 3, and Kate, 10. Kate has multiple disabilities.

Dream houses

Some people wait their entire lives to find their dream home. I’ve already lived in several.

At our first assignment in Texas, my husband and I lived in our first real house. It was my dream home because it had a fireplace. We didn’t have much furniture to put in it. And we used a rotary push mower, a gift from my grandfather, until we could afford a gas-powered lawn mower to cut the grass. It had a big backyard, a rectangle of concrete for a patio and even a grapevine.

Where the DOD fears to tread

U.S. troops are known to be brave in battle, but apparently the Pentagon is willing to let spouses clubs walk where even the Department of Defense fears to tread – on the uncertain terrain of integrating same-sex spouses into military life.

Since “don’t ask don’t tell” was repealed more than a year ago, gay and lesbian troops serve openly in the armed forces. However, their same-sex spouses do not have full military family status. DOD does not recognize same-sex marriage, though it is legal in several states. The Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law, defines marriage as only between one man and one woman, leaving same-sex spouses currently ineligible for military ID cards and most military benefits.