SpouseBuzz

It's Time to Run for Office

What if I told you that you should run for office?

Give me a chance, here - you're bright and capable, I know you have issues that mattered to you (hello, Tricare much?), and you're a military spouse, so you've already got some political cache to work with. So let's pretend. You be the person I think should run for office, and I'll be me.

Me: I think you should run for office. You: I think I should have a unicorn. Me: No, no. I'm serious! You should run for office. You: In a place I've only lived for a few months and am no doubt moving away from soon? Yeah right.

Except: Yeah, right. You should.

Welcome to Homefront Rising, a one-day political bootcamp and incredible support network for military spouses who want to become politically engaged. And even run for office.

Yesterday, they had a big event in Tampa, and repping SpouseBUZZ and Military.com, I showed up. But the thing is, I showed up a skeptic. [See: Earlier conversation in which I compare 'actually running to office' to 'and I would like a unicorn please.' We'll get back to that.]

It almost sounded too good to be true. Really? You're going to teach me what I need to know to get really, truly politically engaged in one day? Are you sure? It's like when your best friend starts selling Mary Kay and you're all yes I'll come to your party and I'll buy a mascara because I love you, but seriously, you know this is a Ponzi scheme, right?

That was me. Yes, I'll come to your day-of-political-bootcamp but seriously, I'll take that vote and a unicorn, please.

I'm a military spouse. I can't run for office. It's impossible.

At this point in my military life, I should probably know that as soon as I say something is impossible, someone's about to prove me wrong. Because I'll very honestly tell you: It's not.

Military spouses are getting elected across the country (think Niki Haley!), and Homefront Rising wants you to join their ranks.

Yes, they know you're a military spouse. And that's why they want you to get involved.

Over here in the military world, we have real issues weighing us down. Retirement. Pay cuts. Tricare. Base closures, troop and benefit cuts, the drama in Iraq. And if you listen to the news, you often hear  politicians talking about the "sacred obligation" we owe our veterans and service members.

These are issues we know intimately -- much like we do our local communities, even if we do have to change them on a regular basis.

But because of that -- because we have real, solid knowledge of really important issues, BECAUSE we rely on legislators to define critical parts of our lives, and because there's a legislative body in Washington that can literally send our spouses to war -- because of that, we need to get involved. I don't know about you, but getting involved in politics myself is starting to seem like a much more efficient way to get my voice heard than electing the same people to go do the same political dance again and again while our livelihoods head to the chopping block.

That's what Homefront Rising is all about.

But that's still a lot to swallow. It still might seem as far-fetched as a unicorn to you. And if it does, I don't blame you. I was you, too. So let's think about it in a slightly different context.

Every year, thousands of us eagerly cast our votes for those spouses we want to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate with the Military Spouse of the Year program. That's great. That's awesome. We should celebrate the hard work and ingenuity that defines our community. We should sing out about the people who are making a difference. And we should stand up and support them, wherever they are.

So why not do it on voting day?

Sixty-eight percent of us already volunteer in our local communities. We're already civicly engaged. We're already giving and sacrificing and doing. We already have our issues and we're already working them. So I guess the only real question is this: You, with the cause? You with the issue that matters? Have you thought about running for office?

Because I think you should run for office.

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