Michelle Obama met withmilitary spouses and retirees for a frank discussion of the problems they are encountering while their husbands are deployed as well as issues raised when those who served in combat and now home or out of the service. An Air Force wife said she had to give up her job when her husband was deployed because she couldn’t find child care. A Navy wife described the pressures of taking care of here husband’s father who suffers from Alheimer’s disease while also caring for her infant and teenager– all while her husband is deployed overseas. Amanda McBreen, wife of a Marine Lt. Colonel commented: “It’s an honor that someone in an influential position like Mrs. Obama would care enough to listen to what I have to say…I’ve spent 18 years following my husband and being told what to do without someone ever asking m e how I feel about that.”
This is the third meeting Mrs. Obama has conducted with military spouses in order to identify issues that must addressed by a new administration. She has learned “the mental health issues appear to be higher for people who are active and in the midst of deployment. The stress is just so much more powerful. but the issues are the same.” Mrs. Obama believes these families need more services and support during deployment time for their spouses. They need child care assistance and more access to psychological services.
Of course, an important way to assist these spouses is to get their husbands back from fighting zones.