*Please submit any questions today, in the comments discussion, we will adress them in a Q&A session, following each panel!! WE want you to participate*
You can go to the live coverage in the extended BODY of this post...
Hattie Kaufamann (CBS News National Correspondent & Marine Corp Mom) making opening remarks. Marine Color Guard presenting colors. Wives all standing, hands on hearts. A very touching site for many of us to watch.
BTW, there is Rite Aid Convention downstairs at the Convention Center. Mario Lopez is present, Mrs. Kaufmann making light, that perhaps all of the wives, might be downstairs!! Very funny.
Mrs. Kaufmann is now presenting how she started military coverage during the first Gulf War. She is recalling the airwar in January 2001. She is talking about covering Fort Bragg military wives, and the wives recording messages on video tapes!! WOW we have come a long way technologically.
Hattie Kaufmann, is not only a breast cancer survivor, and is sharing her experience of her sons own deployment, and her Drs. decision to proceed with a masectomy. These two life changing events coincide with days of one another. She like any Mother decided to proceed with the masectomy, without her sons knowledge.
WOW, she is amazing!!
Mrs. Kaufmann, is now introducing Panel 1.
The Milspouse Experience
Melinda: acting as moderator married 4 plus years to an Army Guardsman. She is also a full time law student, and Mother!! She is also a care package addict.
Sarah: 4 years married, speaking about her personal patriotism.
Ruthie: married, oldest is 15 ...16 years (sorry Ruthie). Talking about how "as a family" she knows they have made a difference.
Wendy: 13 years as a submarine wife. She has started her own business, loves being a navy wife, and Mother!!
The ladies are disucssing what they wish they would have known when they married into the military.
Sarah: she wouldn't have acauired the entire weight allowance in the first 4 years of marriage.
Melinda: let it go, let go of the CONTROL!!
Wendy: embrace new location ASAP!!
Ruthie: Be quiet long enough to listen to those who have been there, and done that.
Melinda is currently posing the question on how to stay connected during a separation or deployment.
Ruthie: writes LOVE letters OFTEN!! She is talking about how we as milspouses protect our husbands with some of the day to day. (Ruthie adds here that she homechools, all 4 CHILDREN at home. Caveats it with "I homeschool, because I do not want to know normal parents") FUNNY...she is killing.
Sarah: Speaking about writing her letters, about her day to day experiences, as a way of unwinding, and so he can hear her daily voice.
Wendy: kept a running letter, also audio tapes. Also a great way for kids to connect.
Melinda: her little one was 1 while DH was gone, lots of videos, of new baby walking, talking, etc.
I hope you are all watching the live stream, because I cannot translate how very humerous and endearing they are!!
Melinda is talking about how her DH sent his PT shirt.....and how she loved the smell of him...I am watching Melindas husbands reaction to hearing his wofe talk about him in front of this many women!! He loves her very MUCH.....I wish Melinda could have seen his face.
Melinda now posing the question
"What do you share, and what do you not share while a loved one is deployed."
How we each have to protect one another, from what is too much information....
I think we have all posted on this as being a delicate dance with one another. We all have to share what we are comfortble with.
Some wives CRAVE information!! Some do want the ENTIRE story, others do!!
****Question from the comment from Blackfive ( who Melinda addressed as the Godfather of the blogosphere, compared getting a comment to getting a letter from Rick Springfield!!) HA...**The question is a sort of how milspouses can shre the experience with the general public, who do not always understand the life.
The audience is REALLY involved in answering this...
The general consensus is "talk" about it... REALLY tell people about the experience.
How to evangalize, the message of supporting our men and women who serve and the families.
How we really need to branch out, and engage by churches, parents, in-laws...
(lots of in-law jokes)
We as military wives some times, hate to branch outside of our "experience" because we tend to isolate ourselves, with our "militareeze" language....