Sarah Smiley

A Widow of Eight Months

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I remember filling out paperwork instead of celebrating with Landon. Rather than shopping for a dress for his homecoming, I spent hours in the mall looking for an outfit I could wear (and still easily nurse our son, Hunter) to the funeral.   In November, Anthony, then 6 years old, bravely walked into his school, which was a sea of dads in... more

Government-Run Healthcare Has Pros, Cons

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Long before the debate over the Affordable Care Act, the military's own government-run healthcare system has been, for me, a mixed bag. On the one hand, my healthcare has always been "free" -- if you can call paying with duty, deployments and, sometimes, life "free". On the other hand, the military healthcare system has been confusing, ine... more

Responding to Last Week's Veterans Day Column

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Again, Dustin said I shouldn't write this column. Last week, apparently he was right. This week, he is not. Dustin doesn't want me to write a follow-up to last week's Veterans Day column because he doesn't want me to even acknowledge online commenters or their vitriol. It's the same reason he didn't want me to write last week's column: to s... more

Are Military Spouses Veterans Too?

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Dustin told me not to write about military spouses on Veterans Day, but I'm going to do it anyway. I understand Dustin's concern: When one holiday is confused with another -- such as when people erroneously recognize my husband and other living veterans on Memorial Day -- all the tributes become diluted. Also, according to Dustin, some migh... more

Words From a Grieving Widow

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Last week, I would have said that our servicemembers' jobs don't become significantly more dangerous just because the U.S. is taking action in a conflict. Then my Navy-wife friend, Theresa, lost her husband, Landon, in a helicopter crash in the Red Sea. Theresa has a new baby boy, Hunter, born in July, as well as a 6-year-old son, Anthony. Land... more

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